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When fighting left-breast cancer, who's looking out for your heart?
WE ARE.
Radiation is highly effective in fighting breast cancer. But when cancer is in the left breast, studies show that the proximity of your heart makes radiation-induced heart disease a serious risk.

To help make sure your heart is as far from the radiation as possible, the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Port Huron uses AlignRT which monitors thousands of points on your skin to ensure you are in the correct position. If you move during treatment, the radiation is automatically stopped until you are back in position.

Radiation Oncology Resources

External Beam Radiation

External Beam Radiation Therapy focuses on the cancer from outside of the body. The treatment process is much like having an x-ray but for a longer period of time. Before the treatment begins a member from the treatment team will make ink marks on the skin that will be used to make sure the patient receives EBRT in the same spot every time. EBRT is typically used to treat early stages of cancer and to help relieve bone pain if cancer spreads to areas in the bone. Treatment takes place in an outpatient center five days per week usually over the course of seven to nine weeks. The actual procedure lasts only a couple of minutes and is painless.

External beam radiation treatment capabilities that improve accuracy and provide better patient outcomes with fewer side effects. External beam can include intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image guided radiation therapy (IGRT), and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).

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Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

IMRT is a high precision 3D radiotherapy that uses computer controlled linear accelerators to deliver the radiation to the tumor or to specific areas of the tumor. The IMRT treatment allows high doses of radiation to be administered to the tumor or to regions within the tumor while minimizing the dose to surrounding tissue and organs. A computer moves around the patient while delivering beams of radiation that comes from different angles and intensities to produce a custom radiation dose to the prostate tumor.

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Prostate Seed Implant

A typical prostate seed implant takes approximately 1.5 hours. During the procedure, with the patient under either spinal or general anesthesia, the urologist uses tiny needles to place multiple tiny (5mm- about the size of a grain of rice) seeds in the man's prostate gland. The radiation oncologist assists the urologist in directing the placement of the seeds.

Using special ultrasound equipment allows  placement of the seed exactly where it should be.  Each seed emits a sphere of radiation about 1cm wide, and by placing the seeds properly, we can treat the entire prostate.

Because of the specialized placement of seeds and careful treatment planning, it is possible to give higher doses of radiation to the prostate, without affecting the rectum. External beam radiation, while effective in some cases (and sometimes used in addition to seed implants), may cause irritation of the skin and rectum.

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Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Surgery

Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Surgery is offered at Karmanos Cancer Institute

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Stereotactic Radiotherapy Surgery

Stereotactic Radiotherapy Surgery is offered at Karmanos Cancer Institute

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