Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation

What Is Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation?

Women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer who have a lumpectomy may require radiation therapy to lower the risk of recurrence. One type of radiation therapy we offer at the cancer institute is accelerated partial breast irradiation. This type of therapy uses radioactive seeds to kill cancer cells that may remain after a lumpectomy.

This therapy limits radiation exposure to healthy breast tissue.


What to Expect

Accelerated partial breast irradiation is an outpatient procedure. It requires local anesthesia where catheters (small flexible tubes) are placed directly under the skin and into the area where the breast lump was removed.

A radioactive seed, about the size of a grain of rice, is inserted into the catheter for five to 10 minutes. The seed is removed and then reinserted about six hours later. Treatment is twice a day for five days in a row.


Possible Side Effects

Most patients do not feel any discomfort during or after the procedure. Side effects that you may experience include:

  • Fatigue
  • Skin irritation at the site of the incision


Cancers Treated