Cancer Care

Image Guided Breast Radiation can Protect Your Heart

November 6, 2019
Kevin Yiee, MD

Author:

Image Guided Breast Radiation can Protect Your Heart

Hi, I’m Dr. Kevin Yiee the medical director of CHI Health St. Elizabeth Radiation Oncology.

The treatment of breast cancer has changed quite a bit over the last 20 years. I’m happy to say that the cure rates are higher than ever. But one of the things that has lead to is longer side effects related to the treatment.

We now know that radiation treatment to the heart can lead to coronary artery disease many years down the road.

Less Radiation Reaches the Lungs and Heart

One of the ways we can help to get around that is by offering Image Guided Breast Radiation, here at St. Elizabeth. Currently, we are the only facility in Nebraska to offer this type of treatment.

Image Guided Breast Radiation is a radioactive source that is placed directly on the patient’s skin. The radiation is then absorbed through the skin as opposed to shooting beams into the breast. By using this method, there is a lot less radiation that reaches the lung and also to heart. Because of this we would expect that there are a lot less incidents of coronary artery disease in the future in patients who have received breast cancer treatment.

If you have any questions about whether Image Guided Breast Radiation is the right treatment option for you, contact our Cancer Care team.

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