The new radiation therapy treatment will also reduce costs for patients.
Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center is now offering a one-day treatment option for patients with early-stage breast cancer.
The Xoft Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy System can be used to treat cancer anywhere in the body, including gynecological cancers and nonmelanoma skin cancer.
It is also advertised to revolutionize early-stage breast cancer treatments. Clinically described as intraoperative radiation therapy, or IORT, this technology should result in fewer treatments and reduced costs.
“Some women, such as those who live in rural areas, women who are working, and women who are caretakers for their families, may find traditional breast cancer treatment difficult because it requires them to travel to the hospital for radiation five days a week, for a span of about six to eight weeks. That’s really hard for a lot of women,” said Dr. Ronald Rasmussen, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center general surgeon. “Because IORT only requires one dose of radiation, patients can typically return to their normal daily activities within days, instead of weeks like traditional radiation treatment.”
With IORT, radiation is delivered from inside the breast, instead of externally with traditional external beam radiation therapy.
During the lumpectomy procedure, radiation oncologists and breast cancer surgeons work together to deliver a full, concentrated dose of radiation, so the patient may have the surgical and radiation portions of their breast cancer treatment in the same day.
After the lumpectomy is performed, physicians use a miniaturized X-ray source, which is inserted into a flexible balloon-shaped applicator, and then temporarily placed inside the lumpectomy cavity. A full course of radiation is then administered in a single dose, lasting as little as eight minutes and directly targeting cancer cells.
"Two major studies have shown IORT is not only effective, but it also has fewer side effects than traditional radiation, making it a viable treatment option for appropriate patients," said Dr. Shravan Kandula, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center radiation oncologist.
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