NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Breast Cancer - Early-Stage
(STAGES I AND II)
, Version 1.2016
58 Treatment options
58 After lumpectomy
60 After mastectomy
62 What to expect
Many women with stage I or II breast
cancer will receive radiation therapy.
Part 5 explains who needs radiation
therapy and which body sites should
be treated. It also provides some
details on what to expect during
Radiation therapy is given to stop the return of cancer
within the breast, nearby sites, or both. Doctors
decide which sites need radiation based mainly on
how many axillary lymph nodes have cancer. The
more nodes with cancer the farther they think the
cancer has spread.
Radiation therapy is usually given after chemotherapy
is finished. It is okay to take HER2 inhibitors during
radiation therapy. If you didn’t have chemotherapy,
radiation therapy follows surgery. If you are pregnant,
don't start radiation until after your baby is born.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to treat
cancer. The rays damage the DNA in cells. This either
kills the cancer cells or stops new cancer cells from
being made. Radiation can also harm normal cells.