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New and easier method of radiation

Women diagnosed with breast cancer are put off just with the news and then following it up with surgery and radiation, which takes 6 weeks, disrupts their world completely. However, researchers now claim that there may be an easier and less disruptive way of treating these cancers. Radiation oncologist Frank Vicini, M.D., of Beaumont Hospital// in Detroit said that with a new type of treatment called quadrant irradiation, doctors will now be able to deliver the same cancer-killing doses of radiation therapy in only one week's time. In this method, after the tumor is removed, doctors use a CT scan to create an image of the area. The doctors then instruct the computer to focus the treatment only on the area where the tumor was removed by using a series of beam angles. According to Dr. Vicini, 100 percent of the dose goes to about four centimeters. Other areas get less than a fraction of the treatment. He added that there is potentially less side effects with this type of treatment as the radiation is confined to only the tissue that requires it. This also ensures a better outcome with respect to quality of life. Also, studies have shown that localized cancer returns only to the same place, so leaving the rest of the breast untreated with radiation does not impact recurrence. This breakthrough treatment is still under study and is being used on women with cancer that has not spread. Positive results of the study might mean an easier radiation option for women diagnosed with breast cancer.


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