Patients with early stage breast cancer may soon have another treatment option. Some medical centers across the country are experimenting with what is called partial breast radiation which speeds up the treatment.
"Right now the standard treatment is to treat women over about six and a half weeks once a day five days a week. This trial ends up accelerating the treatment so the treatment is all done within a week. They're treated twice a day over five days," said Dr. Jim McIntyre, an Oncologist.
"Since I already have breast cancer, I might as well help future people who come down with it," said Elizabeth Harnois, a cancer patient.
Elizabeth is one of the women in this national study. She says she likes the convenience of having just one week of treatment. If you think this sounds like brachy therapy which has been used in Lubbock for some time. That's a little different.
A spokesperson at Southwest Cancer Center tells me brachy therapy is one week of treatment but directed by catheter into the body. While this new option, partial breast radiation looks like any other radiation because it's external but more powerful in a shorter amount of time.
If you'd like more information on the partial breast radiation log onto the American Cancer Society web site at http://www.cancer.org .