Understanding When Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer Is Necessary

After skin cancer, breast cancer follows as a common form of cancer affecting a majority of women. Breast cancer causes sudden changes to the breast, including a lump and changes in the shape, size, and appearance of a breast. Surgery alone may not be effective because cancer cells can multiply and grow back. Therefore, getting radiation therapy from a radiation oncologist phoenix will be beneficial in killing these cancer cells to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer. Your specialist uses energy from high beams and radiation to kill the cancer cells that remain after surgery. The discussion below highlights instances when you need radiation therapy for breast cancer.

Why Would You Need Radiation Therapy?

Chances are that breast cancer will still be back after you have undergone surgery. Therefore, it is vital to destroy and kill cancer cells so they will not multiply and grow again. Radiation therapy applies high radiation to the targeted cells to damage cancer cells and keeps them from returning and causing another episode of breast cancer. Cancer cells are likely to remain after surgery, increasing the need for radiation therapy.

When Do You Need Radiation Therapy?

You will undergo radiation therapy after different surgical procedures to remove breast cancer cells as much as possible in your body to relieve your symptoms. The following will give details of when you need the procedure and how it happens.

Radiation after Lumpectomy

A lumpectomy involves making an incision to remove the cancerous tumor and a small part of the surrounding tissue, especially for small tumors. Therefore, a lumpectomy aims to preserve the breast, leaving it intact after surgery. Your doctor will recommend radiation to kill the remaining cancer cells to lower the risk of returning cancer. Radiation options can include radiation to the whole breast through external beam radiation and partial breast irradiation specifically to the area of cancer removal.

Radiation after Mastectomy

You may decide to have your doctor remove your entire breast during surgery. Mastectomy removes all breast tissue, including ducts, fatty tissue, nipple, areola, lobules, and some skin. You can then improve your breast appearance with another surgical technique. Following a mastectomy, you will need radiation to kill cancer cells that remain to cause breast cancer recurrence.

Radiation for Locally Advanced Breast Cancer

You may need radiation if surgery cannot remove your breast cancer. Also, you will need radiation if you have aggressive cancer that spreads to the lymph channels around the breast. You will likely begin with chemotherapy, a mastectomy, and radiation to prevent possible breast cancer recurrence.

Radiation for Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer means that cancer has spread to your other body parts. Your doctor will recommend radiation to shrink breast cancer, thus helping control and manage pain symptoms.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams and radiation to destroy cancer cells so that they will not multiply and bring cancer again. Therefore, you have a reduced risk of another breast cancer episode which will subject you to another round of treatment. The therapy treatment is safe and will not make you radioactive. Additionally, radiation therapy can be beneficial in managing the symptoms of cancer that have already spread to other parts of the body.

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