Introduction to Radiation Therapy

Radiation Therapy is a form of local treatment of ductal in situ and invasive breast cancer.

Radiation therapy is used in conjunction with lumpectomy to help kill any cancer cells that are still in your breast after the tumor and surrounding tissue are removed. Radiation therapy reduces the chance of cancer returning to the same breast.

Most women receive external radiation therapy. It is usually given during outpatient visits to a hospital or treatment center. This process is like having an x-ray. There are different machines for external radiation, depending on the kind and location of your cancer.

Radiation itself doesn't hurt, but it can have side effects. The most common is changes in your skin, which may appear sunburned and may darken over time - for some women the changes may persist. Some women get fatigued during the course of their treatment, but many continue to work or go about their usual activities.

A radiation therapy unit

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