Wed | Aug 16, 2017

New treatment option for breast cancer patients

Published:Wednesday | August 24, 2016 | 8:00 AM

A new treatment option that is designed to save time and reduce radiation exposure for breast cancer patients in the Caribbean is now available. Through intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), patients can receive radiation directly to a small area all at once, as opposed to the usual method, in which a larger part of the body receives radiation for a longer period of time.

The new treatment option is available at Tenet Healthcare's Good Samaritan Medical Center in Florida, United States.

The standard radiation therapy schedule for a breast cancer patient is five days a week for up to six weeks, whereas IORT delivers all of the needed radiation at one time. This is not only more convenient for patients, but may result in less radiation exposure to nearby organs and tissues. IORT also uses a much smaller radiation dose than external beam radiotherapy.

"We are pleased to implement intraoperative radiation therapy at The Breast Institute as part of our commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes," said Chief Executive Officer Mark Nosacka. "Many of our patients lead busy, active lives. By expanding our services to include this technology, we can provide a one-time treatment option, eliminating the need to make multiple trips to the hospital."

Patients who may benefit the most from IORT are over the age of 60 and have early-stage breast cancer that has not spread. IORT is used in patients who have had a lumpectomy (removal of a tumor from the breast), rather than a mastectomy (removal of the entire breast). This method of radiation therapy, provided by Sordina IORT Technologies, offers high-dose radiation directly to the tumor bed during surgery, after the tumor has been removed.

The Breast Institute at Good Samaritan Medical Center offers comprehensive care, including breast ultrasounds and diagnostic, digital and 3-D mammograms.