Radiation therapy for invasive ductal carcinoma directs high-energy rays to an affected breast, underarm and chest area to destroy cancerous cells. This treatment is often recommended after breast-conserving surgical procedures, such as lumpectomies and partial mastectomies, to target any remaining cancer cells. It is sometimes used after total mastectomies as well in order to reduce the likelihood of recurrence, especially if the tumors were particularly large (more than 5 centimeters in diameter) or lymph nodes were affected.
Some ways of delivering radiation therapy for invasive ductal carcinoma include:
- External beam radiation – A machine called a linear accelerator is used to direct radiation therapy to an entire breast after a lumpectomy, or to a smaller area of skin and muscle where a mastectomy was performed and/or cancerous lymph nodes were found. Treatment is typically administered daily over a period of approximately five to seven weeks.
- Internal partial-breast irradiation (brachytherapy) – Radioactive materials, such as seeds or pellets, are temporarily placed in or near a site where a tumor was removed.
- Intraoperative treatment – INTRABEAM® intraoperative radiotherapy is administered in a one-day treatment during lumpectomy surgery.
- Deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) – Utilized for breast cancers on the left side of the body, DIBH can help protect a patient’s heart from the effects of radiation treatment.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, the nationally recognized research team in our Don & Erika Wallace Comprehensive Breast Program has developed highly advanced techniques to refine the radiation therapy delivery process to ensure pinpoint accuracy and precision. We also understand that it takes much more than state-of-the-art technology to provide effective breast cancer treatment. In that regard, it is our collaborative group of radiation oncologists that truly sets us apart from other cancer centers. Each member of our team has both extensive technical expertise and vast experience in treating patients with various forms of breast cancer. For our patients, all of this leads to fewer treatment sessions, less discomfort and better outcomes.
If you’d like to learn more about radiation therapy for invasive ductal carcinoma, the experts at Moffitt can explain. Call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online. No referrals are required.