“Is Radiotherapy safe for breast cancer?” is a common question that I’m sure is asked by lots of women who have had cancer treatment. “Is radiotherapy safe for breast cancer when I have a lumpectomy or mastectomy?” This is a valid concern because not all treatment modalities are designed for every patient and it is important to understand your treatment before embarking on it.
“How will I know if radiotherapy is right for me?” You may be wondering what you can expect from radiotherapy when you receive it late in the game after a mastectomy or lumpectomy. First of all, no matter what the treatment modality is, the final outcome (course of treatment) is always the same: remove the cancerous cells. There are always some late effects in any cancer treatment modality and these effects will vary from patient to patient. The course of radiotherapy for breast cancer is long and often includes multiple treatments, so understanding how the late effects work can be critical to choosing the treatment that is right for you.
“How is radiotherapy administered?” Radiotherapy is usually administered by one of two types of healthcare professionals: nurses or radiologists. A radiologist is a graduate of a medical school who completes a 2-year post-graduate residency to become a full-fledged radiographer. Radiographers complete a four-year bachelor’s degree as well as several years of specialized training, depending on their area of specialization. To become a radiographer, the patient must also pass both a written and practical exam.
How long does it take for radiographers to treat a patient with radiotherapy? As with any invasive procedure, there are both advantages and disadvantages to every type of therapy. For example, there may be significant side effects at the start of the therapy, such as fatigue, nausea, or mild pain. In addition, the radiographer may administer more than one type of therapy to achieve the desired effects.
Is a specialist nurse involved in the treatment area? A specialist nurse is usually a member of a cancer team, which consists of a primary care physician, specialist in oncology or other specialties, and nurses or technicians specializing in either oncology or radiation therapy. When a patient comes into the radiology department, the first thing the radiographer does is determine the right therapy for the individual based on the patient’s symptoms.
“Is radiotherapy safe for breast cancer?” The answer is yes, if all factors are met. Radiotherapy uses powerful x-rays, which kill cancer cells in the targeted area while producing minimal tissue damage in the area around the radiation source. This minimally invasive technique offers women who are diagnosed with cancer the chance to live a normal life even though they have been treated with radiation.