Breast cancer is the most common tumour in both developed and developing countries. Although we face this disease on a daily basis, during the month of October we have joined the fight to raise awareness of the disease.
The first step in this battle is prevention. It is very important for all women to undergo a mammogram from the age of 45 onwards. This check is essential to ensure early diagnosis of the disease, it has been demonstrated that the earlier the diagnosis, the better the patient’s quality of life and the longer the patient’s survival.
Treatment of breast cancer has progressed considerably in recent years. There is a growing tendency towards more personalized medicine and less aggressive and more conservative treatments, these together with early methods of diagnosis have increased long-term survival rates.
Radiotherapy plays a very important role in the treatment of breast cancer; clear benefits have been demonstrated when combined with other treatments.
Breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy or tumorectomy) involves removing the tumour alone with adequate surgical margins, this has replaced mastectomy as the treatment of choice. To perform this technique safely and maintain local control of the disease, radiotherapy is always required in addition to surgery.
If this type of surgery is not possible due to the tumour being large or due to other risk factors, a mastectomy is required, in many cases radiotherapy will also be necessary to increase the effectiveness of treatment.
Even in patients with advanced disease and metastasis, the tumour may cause symptoms such as pain, bleeding, or ulceration. In these cases, radiotherapy can alleviate these symptoms, significantly improving the patient’s quality of life.
Technological developments have enabled us to use more accurate and safer linear accelerators which in the hands of experts make treatment increasingly effective.
The latest radiotherapy at HC Cancer Center allows us to:
– Provide intensity modulated treatments (IMRT) where radiation adapts to the treatment volume, minimizing doses to healthy tissue such as the heart or lung as much as possible.
– Minimize the number of sessions from 25 to 15, thanks to moderately hypofractionated treatments. This means fewer days of treatment, more comfortable for the patient.
– Perform partial irradiation of the breast in patients with a good prognosis, improving treatment tolerance.
As we make more and more progress, this and other treatments mean survival rates are continuing to rise.
At HC Cancer Center we join the battle for another year, even stronger with the support of radiotherapy.