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New Technology Treating Breast Cancer in 1 Week (HDR Brachytherapy)

Conventionally, patients with breast cancer are treated with 7 weeks of daily external beam radiotherapy to entire breast. A new kind of high dose rate brachytherapy (internal radiation therapy) has shown that it is more effective and takes only 5 days.

What are the Benefits of HDR Brachytherapy

  • HDR delivers highly conformal precise radiation therapy directly to the breast cancer site.
  • The treatment takes 5 days versus 7 weeks for external beam radiation therapy.
  • If chemotherapy is required, it can begin sooner.
  • Local recurrence is low.
  • Consmeis is excellent
  • Control of adjacent organs (lung & heart) doses resulting in fewer side effects.
  • Ability to customized shape radiation dose to fit the tumor.
  • Treatment is given on an outpatient basis so no hospital stay is required.

Who are the Candidates?

  • Total tumor size is less than or equal to 3 cm. in size.
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma or ductal carcinoma in situ.
  • Microscopic surgical margins of excision are negative.
  • Age of greater than or equal to 45 years.
  • Sentinel lymph nodes are negative.


  • 1.Once the cancer is removed, surgeon places catheters inside the lumpectomy cavity.
  • 2.Small portion of the catheter remains outside of the breast.
  • 3.You will visit American Cancer Center twice a day for 5 days. Each treatment takes around 15 to 20 minutes.
  • 4.During the treatment the catheter is attached to a computer controlled radiation treatment machine (HDR Unit) that inserts tiny radioactive seeds through the catheter.
  • 5.The catheter is removed after the last treatment and most women feel little or no discomfort during the treatment.

Cosmetic Results of HDR Brachytherapy.

Cosmetic results are excellent. This picture was taken three months after the HDR procedure. It does not cause scaring or retraction of skin or breast tissue.

For more information on breast cancer treatment, call American Cancer Center at 847-458-8333.

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