Radiation Treatment Options for Breast Cancer Care at Swedish Medical Center, Denver

Whole Breast Radiation Therapy

Whole breast therapy is external beam radiation therapy that uses radiation from high-energy X-ray beams to kill cancer cells or slow down their growth. This radiation therapy covers the entire breast, as well as the chest wall and lymph node areas, as needed. This form of radiation therapy is typically completed during a period of six to seven weeks.

Partial Breast Radiation Therapy

Partial Breast Therapy is external beam radiation targeting only the small area of the breast where a tumor has been surgically removed. Partial breast radiation therapies not only significantly reduce the amount of time needed to complete the treatment, they also help limit and prevent radiation exposure to healthy tissue and organs close to the breasts, including the lungs, heart, ribs, muscles and skin.

There are several different approaches to external beam partial radiation that give patients safe and effective treatment for small, early-stage breast cancers.

  • Accelerated Partial Breast Therapy

    Accelerated Partial Breast Therapy is external or internal beam radiation targeting only the samll area where a tumor has been surgically removed. This form of radiation is typically completed with five consecutive daily treatments.

  • Breast Brachytherapy

    Breast Brachytherapy (sometimes called balloon catheter radiation) is internal beam accelerated partial breast radiation. It treats breast cancer from within the breast where a tumor has been surgically removed. This form of radiation therapy is typically completed with five consecutive daily treatments.

  • Intra-Operative Radiation Therapy

    Intra-Operative Radiation Therapy is internal, state-of-the-art radiation therapy that allows delivery of a concentrated, single dose of radiation delivered directly to the tumor site during breast cancer surgery. Typically, no further radiation therapy will be needed following intra-operative radiation therapy.