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Therapeutic Radiology – Yale Medicine Explains

Therapeutic Radiology – Yale Medicine Explains


– Breast cancer is a
malignancy of the breast glands and it can originate in
the skin, the nipple, or within the actual
ducts or the globules. We don’t know what exactly
causes breast cancer, for the vast majority of
patients with breast cancer a host of environmental factors
and 10% to 15% of patients will have a genetic predisposition and carry the breast cancer genes. So years ago when a
woman had breast cancer they automatically underwent a mastectomy, and now they have a choice and they can also undergo a breast conservation. So if a patient is candidate
for breast conservation, they will have the primary tumor removed, they’ll have the lymph nodes assessed and they will also
receive radiation therapy, and that together has been found to be equivalent to mastectomy in
early stage breast cancer. Okay, we’re gonna put
your head onto the side And we also have a technology that we call deep inspiration breath-hold. Deep inspiration
breath-hold is a technique that’s very important because it allows us to only turn the radiation beam on when the patient is taking a deep breath, which moves the chest
wall away from the heart. And by doing that, we’re exposing less of the heart to radiation. She’s doing a good job laying there. The machine moves around
them and treats them, and they’re usually in
and out of the department within about 15 minutes. Short term side effects for radiation are pretty minimal actually,
it’s fatigue and skin reaction. Most patients continue to work, they continue to perform
their daily activities. The more serious side
effects are related to the normal tissue that’s getting radiated, such as the lung, it
can cause pneumonitis, which is an inflammation that occurs in a small percentage of patients. The prognosis of breast cancer patients has markedly improved. The primary reason for that
is that they’re being detected at an earlier stage, and
even if they are detected at later stages, we have much better combined modality treatment
together with the radiation and surgery, all have
improved survival outcomes. I’m Dr. Meena Moran, I’m a Professor of Therapeutic Radiology at Yale Medicine.

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