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Farmington Hills, MI 48336-5919
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Fall 2010


Botsford HealthSource Magazine

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New Therapy Streamlines Breast Cancer Treatment Process

The Botsford Cancer Center has added a new weapon for women fighting early-stage breast cancer: MammoSite breast brachytherapy.

Many women with early-stage breast cancer opt for a breast-conserving treatment plan that includes lumpectomy, the surgical removal of the tumor rather than the breast. After surgery, patients often receive a daily dose of radiation therapy for five to seven weeks to prevent the cancer from returning.

For selected patients older than age 50, MammoSite breast brachytherapy can cut the radiation treatment period to 10 treatments over a five-day period. The technology eliminates the need for external beam radiation therapy by making it possible to deliver radiation from inside the breast.

“Benefits of MammoSite are its speed and accuracy of treatment delivery,” says James Fontanesi, M.D., a radiation oncologist at the Botsford Cancer Center. MammoSite allows physicians to focus radiation on the important area without harming healthy tissue. During treatment, which lasts only minutes, a small MammoSite balloon catheter is placed in the breast at the tumor site. Then, a tiny radioactive seed is inserted through the catheter into the breast. The seed emits a prescribed radiation dose until it is removed at the end of each session.

“Side effects of traditional external beam radiation treatment, such as fatigue or skin reactions, may be minimized or avoided,” Dr. Fontanesi says. MammoSite is a good option for women who meet specific criteria. These factors include: the woman’s age, the tumor site and size, the cancer type and its stage, and lymph node involvement.

 

 

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Breast Center

Cancer Center

Radiation Oncology

Family Medicine