Radiation Therapy (RT) for breast cancer has seen a long journey precision and focused therapy. RT is an important part of breast cancer management which improves both local control of cancer as well as patient’s survival.
In earlier times it was a treatment delivered over the span of 5-7 weeks with unavoidable high doses of radiation going to underlying heart and lung.
Now in the era of precision/ focused radiation therapy technique like IGRT and IMRT, in majority patient’s radiation is delivered over 3-4 weeks with much more safety for heart and lung.
In recent years precision of radiation therapy has further improved with several techniques to protect heart and lung with the most important being DIBH (Deep Inspiratory Breath Hold).
In DIBH radiation is delivered in 4D fashion with respiratory gating to keep heart away while delivering radiation therapy.
Further improvement is that in selected patients whole radiation therapy treatment can be delivered over just 4-5 days (rather than weeks) using a technique called APBI (Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation).
Overall breast cancer radiation therapy has become a much shorter treatment with better safety and precision.
We routinely practice all these advance techniques at department of radiation oncology, Max hospital, Shalimar Bagh.