Timothy Kerwin

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Timothy Kerwin
Dr.
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Naples
Radiation Oncology
Premier Oncology
955 10th Ave. N.
Naples
FL
34102

If I have had a partial mastectomy (lumpectomy) for breast cancer, do I need to have post-operative radiation therapy?

After a patient has had a breast-conserving surgery, there is a risk of the cancer recurring within the same breast. Even if your surgeon does a great job and the margins are clear, there is a chance that residual microscopic cancer cells can be left behind. Radiation therapy has the ability to destroy those microscopic cancer cells, which vastly decreases the risk that the breast cancer can return.

 

What are my options for radiation therapy after I’ve already had a partial mastectomy for breast cancer?

Radiation options depend on the stage of the cancer, specifically the size of the tumor and the number of lymph nodes involved. Most patients require external beam radiotherapy to the breast, and lymphatic drainage regions may be treated if cancer is detected in the lymph nodes. Certain patients with smaller cancers may qualify for MammoSite® APBI (accelerated partial breast irradiation). With APBI a balloon device within the lumpectomy cavity allows radiation to treat from the inside, the length of treatment is only one week, and the side effects are mild.

Timothy Kerwin
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