Can Radiation Therapy Cure Breast Cancer?

Can Radiation Therapy Cure Breast Cancer?

Doctors offer radiation therapy to females with Breast Cancer after they have the surgery. It may be lumpectomy or mastectomy.

Radiation therapy involves the application of high-energy rays. 

The application of radiation therapy helps eliminate the residual cancerous cells after a successful surgical process.

The main operation removes the tumor.

In Breast Cancer treatment, doctors adopt one of the following procedures:

  • External beam radiation therapy.
  • Brachytherapy.


The curing process usually starts around one month after the cuts heal. The applicant doctor also considers whether you had chemotherapy beforehand. Usually, the energy healing starts after the chemotherapy. The doctors may also decide to have those at the same time. Your doctor may decide to apply radiation therapy in one of the following circumstances:


Lumpectomy is the most used application to treat mamma tumors. With this surgery, surgeons remove the malignant tumor.

However, a considerable amount of timorous tissues remain even after the procedure. 

Surgeons thus apply high-energy radiation to your body. The rays burn the left-over malignant tissues and some of the nearby lymph nodes.

With this, the doctor assures that the disease will not recur. 

After performing the mastectomy

Mastectomy involves complete breast removal. Patient parties do not allow radiation therapy after the gland removal. Again, your surgeon may recommend the process if the tumor size is more than 5 cm. Your diagnosis may identify carcinoma cells in the lymph nodes, skin tissue, or muscle around the breast. These may grow in various remotes. Complete removal will help the patient regain the usual routine once again.

Before any of the previous surgeries

Energetic rays can shrink an effective tumor. Surgeons use the feature while treating Breast Cancer.

They apply radiation energy before performing the surgery.

Instead of surgery

You cannot expect a surgical cure irrespective of tumor type. There are surgically irreparable tumors too.

Usually, doctors locate the tumors in any of the remote locations. Else, the tumor size may be too small to be cured by surgery.

The patient may have physical complicacies that debar them from being an appropriate surgery candidate.

Radiation therapy helps doctors to cure the disease in such situations.

Prevent cancer spread

Mamma gland carcinoma becomes metastatic when it reaches the 4th stage. The cancer spreads to other body parts in this condition.

High-energy rays prevent such stretches. The application speeds up recovery too.

Radiation offerings for Breast Cancer Patients

Patients with Mamma tumors get the therapy that suits the best for their cancer location and type.

Fundamentally, the cure policies may take two forms – the external and the internal. Doctors offer the internal process as Brachytherapy.

The external treatment may take any of the following types:

External beam whole-breast radiation

During the process, surgeons use a machine called the linear accelerator. It sends high-energy radiation to the affected gland. 

The process continues for one to six weeks, depending on the lymph node involvement. You will have to appear for five sittings in a week.

Sometimes, the treating doctor may use intensity-modulated radiation therapy too.

Partial-breast external beam

The process is more precise than the previous. 

It targets the disease area. Doctors use three-dimensional conformal radiation or intensity-modulated radiation therapy.

The process continues for three weeks.


It is an internal procedure. 

The provider places an applicator or catheter on the affected mamma gland. Then he pushes through a seed into the tumor site.

The seed contains radiating contents. It emits the energy particles for several minutes as per the need.

The patient receives two treatments every day for five days.

Brachytherapy can also be of two types. 

Intra-cavitary process

Interstitial procedure

The intra-operative procedure

Surgeons apply the procedure before closing the surgical site. They use high-dose energy emission on the tumor in the exposed breast tissue.

Possible complications – External Processes

A short-term external beam emission may leave the following side effects to the gland:

  • Swelling in the gland. 
  • Skin changes in the treated area. These include peeling, redness, or darkening effect on the skin.
  • Exhaustion feeling.

Do not let the treated skin get exposed to the sun for the time being. It can worsen the skin changes effects. 

It automatically heals up in a few months. Tissue exposures go off within a year.

A Breast Cancer patient may have lateral complications. These may include:

  • Changes in the shape. It can become smaller and firmer.
  • It limits the scope of breast reconstruction. Processes like the tissue flap procedures will become impossible after having the energy emission.
  • You may find issues in breastfeeding too.
  • Brachial plexopathy. It causes damage to the arm nerves. Finally, you may get weakness, numbness, and pain in the shoulder, arm, and hand.
  • Your doctor may have to apply radiating energy to the underarm lymph nodes. 
  • Uncontrolled emission causes lymphedema. The disease produces pain and swelling in the chest or arm.
  • Seldom may you get weakened or fractured ribs.
  • Radiating energy application to the mamma gland may also give out another carcinoma disease. Medical science identifies this as angiosarcoma.

Internal procedure side effects

Brachytherapy can also leave separate side effects. The intracavitary procedure can leave the following complications:

  • Bruising at the treatment site.
  • You may also experience redness in the affected zone.
  • Infection is common irrespective of the type.
  • Pain the mamma.
  • Damages to the fatty tissues.
  • Weakness in the ribs and fractures is usual with the external procedure. It occurs seldom.
  • It may cause sarcoma as fluids collect in the breast.

The Procedure

Radiation therapy on breast cancer is an outpatient procedure. The patient gets a release on the same day. You will have to lie on your back except in the prone breast radiation. In the latter, you will lie on your stomach. The treatment team will ask you to place the arm above your head. Thus, these will be on the same side as the affected organ. The doctor:

  • Positions and secures the patient’s body in the immobilization device. During a mastectomy, you will get a bolus on top of the treatment area. It helps increase the radiation dose.
  • Then he lines up the linear accelerator with the first treatment field. Providers leave the room as radiating energy starts to pass.
  • The entire team will monitor you from an attached room and through a video screen.
  • After turning the machine on, he will continue the emission until he attains the required level. Based on your condition, each treatment may continue for several minutes.
  • After completing the first treatment range, your doctor creates another field to treat.
  • You may have to face up to five treatments in a day.

The specialist doctor will take daily or weekly X-ray reports for the radiation treatment. He tries to ensure that the emitted energy hits the desired area.


The success of radiating energy treatment depends on the early-stage disease symptoms. It offers a grand success if the doctor recognizes the condition before reaching the metastatic stage. Studies show that a lumpectomy leaves out 20-40% recur chances. With the addition of the post-surgery emission, it drops to a maximum of 10%.


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