Radiation therapy or Radiotherapy is a treatment method wherein radiation is given to the affected breast after the breast conservation surgery (breast has been saved) or in cases where the breast has been removed entirely. The therapy involves exposing the cancerous breast tissue to high energy x-rays; wherein the x-rays are very collimated and directed by dedicated machine known as Linear Accelerator. Radiotherapy is important to reduce the risk of recurrence of cancer after surgery. It is effective and safe in treating all stages of breast cancer, from stage o to stage III of breast cancer, after the surgery. Radiation therapy is a painless procedure and will not cause the patient to be radioactive, nor increase their chance of getting breast cancer, as that would defeat its purpose.
Typically, the radiation regimes are given over 5 days, 15 days or 25 days. It takes only a few seconds to give radiotherapy and the patient does not need hospitalization for the same.
The common side effects of radiation therapy are:-