Intraoperative Radiation Therapy
One and done
Radiation usually takes about six weeks. With Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT), you receive one treatment during surgery and you're done.
After your cancer tumor is removed, IORT delivers a concentrated dose of radiation directly inside the breast—where it's needed most. Then your entire course of radiation therapy is complete.
Benefits of IORT:
- Less damage to healthy tissues
- Shorter treatment period
- Less side effects
- Immediate treatment: Many patients need a recovery period after surgery before they can begin whole breast radiation treatments. IORT is completed in one dose during surgery.
- A radiation boost: Patients who require additional radiation therapy after surgery can benefit from an initial radiation boost with IORT.
IORT vs. Whole Breast Radiation
During whole breast radiation therapy, a beam of radiation is directed at the entire breast, exposing healthy tissues and organs to radiation. This can cause side effects such as fatigue, dryness, itching and sensitive skin. Whole breast treatments involve daily treatments—as many as five times per week for six weeks.
As a new alternative to whole breast radiation, IORT is completed during surgery. It delivers a concentrated dose of radiation directly into the incision site. Because IORT treats one precise location, the radiation can be delivered in a higher dose which significantly reduces the side effects associated with whole breast radiation.
Who is eligible for IORT?
If you have early-stage breast cancer and are planning to have a lumpectomy, you may be a candidate for IORT. Your physician will help you evaluate your treatment options.
To learn more, talk to your doctor or your Cancer Nurse Navigator, or request a consult with our Aurora BayCare cancer specialists.