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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Breast Cancer - Early-Stage


, Version 1.2016


Radiation therapy

Treatment options after lumpectomy

Some women with cancer-free nodes are able to

go without radiation. Such women include those

older in age with small, hormone receptor–positive

breast tumors who will be taking endocrine therapy.

Endocrine therapy will likely stop the cancer from


If the axillary lymph nodes weren’t cancer-free, your

whole breast should be treated. A boost may follow

if the cancer is likely to return after treatment. The

internal mammary lymph nodes and supraclavicular,

infraclavicular, and axillary areas may be treated if

1 to 3 axillary nodes have cancer and should be

treated if 4 or more nodes have cancer.

Figure 5.1 Radiation after lumpectomy

Most women will have radiation therapy after a lumpectomy. This combined treatment

is called breast-conserving therapy. Most often, the whole breast is radiated. Other

sites may be radiated if the axillary lymph nodes have cancer.

supraclavicular area

infraclavicular area

axillary area

internal mammary

lymph nodes

whole breast