Patients who undergo breast-conserving surgery have the ability to choose intraoperative radiation therapy, or IORT, as an alternative to traditional radiation, an approach that has several benefits, according to Stephanie Valente, DO, of the Cleveland Clinic.
Valente describes the process of delivering IORT as well as its advantages. “This type of radiation focuses to one centimeter around the lumpectomy bed and, therefore, spares the remainder of the healthy breast, lungs and heart from the damaging effects of radiation,” she said.
IORT is offered to women with an early, favorable-stage breast cancer, according to Valente.
“This is a woman over the age of 45 with an estrogen-positive, invasive ductal cancer that is typically less than 2 centimeters in size and whose sentinel lymph node clinically appears negative,” she said.