NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Stage 0 Breast Cancer - page 25

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
Stage 0 Breast Cancer, Version 1.2014
23
3
DCIS
Treatment
Ask your doctor what methods will be used for your
treatment. Some methods are:
Directing the beam not toward the heart,
Lying face down during treatment,
Holding your breath at times during treatment,
Use of devices that keep you from moving
during treatment,
EBRT machines that give treatment only when
the tumor is in the right spot, and
ERBT machines that deliver very precise
radiation beams. 3D machines deliver beams
matched to the shape of the tumor. IMRT
(
i
ntensity-
m
odulated
r
adiation
t
herapy) uses
small radiation beams of different strengths
based on the thickness of the tissue.
You will be alone while a technician operates the
EBRT machine from a nearby room. He or she will be
able to see, hear, and speak with you at all times. As
treatment is given, you may hear noises. A session
can take between 15 to 30 minutes. Radiation therapy
is given 5 days a week for 5 to 7 weeks.
Toward the end of treatment, you may receive extra
radiation called a boost. A boost is recommended
if you are 50 years old or younger. The boost may
be given with EBRT or by internal radiation. Internal
radiation is also called brachytherapy. It involves
placing radioactive seeds in the area where the tumor
was. The seeds are placed using multiple small tubes
(catheters) or one small catheter with a balloon at its
end.
For multiple-catheter boost radiation, the seeds may
remain in your body for minutes or days. If the seeds
release a small dose of radiation, the catheters and
seeds are left in your body for a few days. During
this time, you must stay in the hospital. If the seeds
release high doses of radiation, the seeds will remain
in your body for 10 minutes. However, radiation is
given twice a day for 5 days.
You may get side effects from radiation although
not everyone does. Side effects are unhealthy or
unpleasant physical or emotional responses to
treatment. Often, the skin around the radiation site will
look and feel as if it has been sunburned. Another
common problem is extreme tiredness despite sleep.
Women sometimes have pain in their armpit or chest
after radiation and, rarely, heart and lung problems.
Ask your treatment team for a complete list of rare
and common side effects.
Partial breast irradiation
Recently, some doctors have given radiation only to
the lumpectomy site instead of giving whole breast
radiation. Radiation only to the lumpectomy site is
called partial breast irradiation. If you’re interested
in this treatment, it is recommended that you receive
it only within a clinical trial. A clinical trial is a type of
research that studies a test or treatment. Because of
clinical trials, the tests and treatments in this book are
now widely used to help patients.
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