Beatriz Amendola

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Beatriz Amendola
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MD, FACR FASTRO
Miami
Radiation Oncology
Innovative Cancer Institute
6141 Sunset Drive, Suite 102
South Miami
FL
33143

I need radiation for my breast cancer but my friends tell me that I will lose my hair and my skin will be burned. Is that the case?
Radiation therapy is used in the treatment of breast cancer along with surgery and chemotherapy. Modern radiation therapy is painless, and patients are able to work during therapy. Side effects consisting of mild local redness of the treated skin may occur. These changes are transitory and well managed with local treatment.  Radiation only affects the areas treated directly under the X-ray beam. Hair loss does not occur unless the brain is treated. Hair loss is actually a common side effect of chemotherapy.

What is Lumpectomy and Conservative Radiation for breast cancer?
Lumpectomy is the removal of the breast tumor (the "lump") and some of the normal tissue that surrounds it. It is the usual surgical procedure for most patients with breast cancer in the USA.   Lumpectomy allows the patient to conserve her breast and it has excellent cosmetic results. It is followed by radiation to the breast, which is given in daily outpatient treatments over 6 weeks or in one week if the patients can be treated with partial breast irradiation. The addition of postoperative radiation has been shown to improve survival in patients initially treated with surgical removal of the tumor.

I have skin cancer and I have had several surgical procedures for treatment and now the cancer is coming back. Can skin cancer be treated some other way?
Radiation therapy is an alternative to surgery used to treat all types of skin cancer except for melanoma. Radiation is painless, noninvasive, and can cure recurrent skin cancer. Cosmetic results are excellent even in facial lesions. It usually requires 6 weeks of daily treatments that take less than 30 minutes each. Occasionally, it can be given in a shorter time schedule. Side effects of radiation are minimal and occur only in the treated area. They are easily managed with local treatment.

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Beatriz Amendola
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