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Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer

On-Topic Video Transcript

Kiran Mehta, MD

Radiation is the therapeutic use of x-rays. A patient lies on the table and through a large machine they receive radiation treatments. There’s no physical sensation when you get radiation, and you don’t glow in the dark, and you don’t emit radiation once you receive a treatment.

Radiation Therapy Benefits

Radiation therapy, in conjunction with lumpectomy, allows an 85-90% cure rate for most women with early stage breast cancer. And, as opposed to chemotherapy, there is no hair loss or nausea associated with radiation. The combination of lumpectomy and radiation allows most women with early stage breast cancer to enjoy excellent survival rates.

Individualized Approach

It’s very important to realize that no two women with breast cancer have the same disease. At UPMC CancerCenter, we really try to individualize the approach based on a woman’s age, her stage, as well as her other medical conditions, and the tumor biology. So we look at the basic factors and then take into account other specialized factors which make one woman’s disease different than the next.

Advanced Technology

UPMC CancerCenter does have several new technologies — one of which is the wide-bore CT. This allows us to position patients in different positions to deliver customized therapy. We also are able to accommodate larger-sized patients with this larger CT. We also offer accelerated partial breast radiation as an alternate to whole breast radiation. This allows us to delivery radiation to a portion of the breast as opposed to the whole breast.

Comprehensive Care Close to Home

UPMC allows comprehensive delivery of care. And our facilities, most often we have medical oncology, radiation oncology, and surgical oncology in close proximity, allows patients customized care. We also practice evidence-based medicine based on Clinical Pathways which are available to all of our physicians that allows patients to receive state-of- the-art treatment right in their own community.

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