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Oncologic Treatment of Breast Cancer

Radiotherapy

Authors: Sarah Gierahn Nielsen, med. student & Hanne Melgaard Nielsen, MD

The use of photon-irradiation has been utilized in cancer treatment for more than 100 years. The external photon beams deploy energy as they pass through tissue, leading to cell damage and apoptosis.

The delivered energy is measured in Gray (Gy) and is delivered in fractions (Fx), An example is 40Gy/15Fx, meaning 40 Gy are delivered in 15 days (postlumpectomy radiotherapy) or 50Gy/25Fx (loco-regional radiotherapy)

Radiotherapy is always offered to patients having breast conserving surgery. Patients having positive axillary lymph nodes (macro metasis) are offered loco-regional radiotherapy, including bort the breast/cheat wall and the regional nodes in the axillary, periclavicular and para-sternal nodes. Radiotherapy minimizes the risk of local and regional recurrence and improves patient survival

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