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Category Archives: Question & Answer

What would determine the target of radiation therapy after a mastectomy depends on the pathological findings at the time of mastectomy if patient has not received any chemotherapy prior to her mastectomy and the clinical findings prior to the mastectomy if patient has received chemotherapy prior to the mastectomy. The clinical findings prior to the Continue Reading

Types of Brachytherapy (IRT – Internal Radiation Therapy)

What are the different types of brachytherapy (IRT – Internal Radiation Therapy)? “Internal” radiation or brachytherapy involves use of a variety of radioactive isotopes which are placed inside or near the tumor/cancer. By doing so, radiation does not have to go through the normal tissue between an external source and the target of radiation. Depending Continue Reading

Requirements for Radiation Treatment

What issues would make a patient not eligible to receive radiation treatment? A patient may not be eligible to receive radiation treatment either because radiation therapy is not indicated for treatment of that particular cancer or stage of the disease or because, even though indicated, it would not be safe to receive radiation. Contraindications to Continue Reading

Potential Delays in Beginning Radiation Treatments

What potential issues may cause a delay in beginning radiation treatments for breast cancer patients? The three common treatment modalities in treatment of breast cancer can be given in different sequences. The most common sequence is to start with surgery, continue with chemotherapy if indicated and finish with radiation therapy. But in some cases chemotherapy Continue Reading

Radiation Therapy and Fatigue

What advice do you give to patients about dealing with fatigue from radiation therapy? The best way to deal with fatigue from radiation therapy is creating a balance between getting enough rest and staying active enough. To succumb to the fatigue and give up physical activity would create a vicious cycle resulting in less energy Continue Reading

What To Expect: Process for New Patients

What process does the radiation oncologist follow when preparing to treat a new patient? Radiation therapy is a very technical treatment and takes a great deal of work by the radiation oncologist, the dosimetrist and the radiation physicist to create a radiation plan which would deliver the required dose of radiation to the cancer while Continue Reading

What To Expect: First Visit to Radiation Oncologist

What can a cancer patient expect for their first visit to the radiation oncologist? How can we prepare for the visit? Whether you have initiated the visit or another physician involved in your care, has referred you to a radiation oncologist, you are there to learn whether radiation therapy is indicated as a part of Continue Reading

Radiation and Duration of Treatment

How long do radiation treatments typically last? Is there a difference between external versus internal radiation therapy? There seem to be so many types of radiation therapy options. How does the doctor determine the best radiation treatment option for the patient?

Mastectomy Radiation

After a mastectomy, what factors determine if radiation therapy is recommended for a breast cancer patient? Traditionally the indications for post-mastectomy radiation have been as following:

Radiation and Ovarian Cancer

What are the most important side effects that ovarian cancer patients should be watching for when undergoing radiation therapy? How is radiation therapy used in palliative care for ovarian cancer? In what situations is radiation therapy used for adjuvant therapy in ovarian cancer? How often is it used?

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