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A diagnosis of breast cancer is never easy. Here at Prince Court Medical Centre, we understand that this can be an emotional and overwhelming time. For this reason, we want to ensure that information on various treatment options is made readily accessible, to allow you to make the best decision for yourself.

For women who are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) is often proposed as treatment. Unlike complete breast removal surgery (mastectomy) – only the diseased tissue and a small surrounding margin of unaffected cells are removed during the procedure.

Radiotherapy after surgery is crucial. Traditionally, Whole Breast Radiation Therapy (WBRT) is prescribed, in which the entire breast is exposed to radiation. Patients will usually go for treatment for five days a week over a three- or six-week period. Unfortunately, radiation may cause fatigue, dryness, itching swelling and skin colour changes, and may also affect adjacent healthy tissue and organs. 

However, today, thanks to technological advancements – we are proud to be able to offer another option for some women: Single dose radiotherapy, also known as INTRABEAM intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT).

INTRABEAM intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT)

IORT is performed at the time of the lumpectomy. Following the removal of cancerous tissues, a targeted dose of radiation is delivered directly to the tissues surrounding the affected site. Not only does this cut down treatment time, but it also reduces radiation exposure significantly. It is suitable for women over the age of 45, with Grade 1 or 2 ductal breast cancer that is less than 3cm, oestrogen receptor positive and no evidence of cancer in the lymph nodes.


The benefits of IORT

  • Exposure to radiation occurs only once, during surgery.
  • There is a lower risk of damage to surrounding healthy tissue and organs.
  • Radiation is absorbed quickly, over a depth of 1 – 2 cm.
  • Chemotherapy can be initiated immediately, if required.
  • Weekly hospital visits for radiation treatment is no longer required.

Potential side effects

  • Mild tenderness over surgical site.
  • Mild swelling and redness of skin over the treated area.

Can there be a cancer recurrence?

A risk of recurrence is always present – even with a mastectomy. Be it IORT or standard radiation, current studies show that there is a 2% chance that the cancer may return after 5 years.

To find out more about IORT and other treatment options, book an appointment with us at [email protected]

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