Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all. Some warning signs of breast cancer are:
Treatment depends on the type of breast cancer and stage of cancer, as well as the general medical condition of the patient.
Removal of the entire affected breast tissue.
Breast-conserving surgery which involves removal of only the cancerous tissue. This is usually followed by radiation therapy.
During the lumpectomy or mastectomy, the surgeons may perform surgery on the lymph node to test if these lymph nodes have been affected by cancer.
The Radiation Oncologist determines the most appropriate method and discusses with you the treatment intent, schedule, risks and side-effects.
A CT scan of the treatment area will be obtained, while three small full-stop size marks are made to ensure accurate positioning during your daily treatment.
A multidisciplinary team produces a customised treatment plan for you.
Radiation therapy for breast cancer is delivered daily (Mondays to Fridays) for three to seven weeks. Each treatment session lasts 10 to 15 minutes.
Your first follow-up appointment varies depending on how you do during treatment, and is usually about four to six weeks after you have completed the course of radiation therapy.
3DCRT delivers very precise doses of radiation to the breast and spares surrounding normal tissue through a machine called a linear accelerator.
APBI is currently recommended in selected patients with early stage breast cancer. It is an outpatient procedure that involves placing flexible plastic tubes called catheters into the breast around the scar region.
A radioactive source then travels via the catheters to treat the high risk area surrounding the scar. This technique reduces overall treatment time from several weeks to four days as well as reduces potential long-term side effects to adjacent tissues.
IMRT involves varying (or modulating) the intensity of the radiation being delivered during treatment. Compared to 3DCRT, this technique can deliver more tightly focused radiation beams to cancerous tumours while reducing the amount of radiation to surrounding healthy tissues
Breath Hold Technique utilises a patient-controlled ventilation control tool which helps the patient hold a deep breath. This allows us to treat the chest wall/breast with the patient in full inspiration (at full inspiration, the chest wall is furthest from the heart), thereby minimising any radiation dosage to the heart
Although the non-surgical nature of radiation breast cancer treatment does away with complications that can arise from surgery, patients may still experience minimal side effects. These include swelling, tender skin, and fatigue; in the first one to two weeks following radiation therapy sessions for breast cancer treatment. Fortunately, the majority of side effects improve over time and can be effectively managed with medication. Inform your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing any discomfort so they can help you manage your symptoms and improve your wellbeing.
Immediate benefits of less airway irritation with less cough and shortness of breath.
Even gently short bouts of activity helps! Improves mood, reduces fatigue, and helps with appetite.
Inform your doctor if you are taking medications, to make sure that they are safe to use during radiation therapy.
Avoid hot or cold packs and only use lotions and ointments after checking with your doctor or nurse. Clean the affected area with lukewarm water and mild soap
Mental and emotional health is as important as physical health. It might be helpful to talk to counsellors or join a cancer support group.
It is good to have someone who can help to keep track of hospital appointments and medications prescribed.
Get plenty of rest during treatment.
Makes you feel better, have fewer side effects, and allows you to fight infections better.
Mon – Fri: 8:30am – 5:30pm
Sat: 8:30am – 12:00pm
Sun & Public Holidays: Closed