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Traditionally, the diagnosis of early breast cancer was followed by treatment involving a lumpectomy (removal of tumor) followed by a six-week course of radiation treatment. A decision to avoid radiation would mean having a mastectomy (removal of the whole breast). However, there is now a new treatment available which involves using a saline-filled balloon to direct radiation to the site of the lumpectomy instead of the normal radiation treatment which involves exposure to whole breast, surrounding ribs, lungs and heart. The new therapy is called the MammoSite system and only requires five days of treatment following a lumpectomy. The treatment is only suitable for very small tumors which have not spread at all. Although, no long term studies have been done on the system yet, the makers are confident that it is safe. The main side effects include redness, bruising and breast pain which are all symptoms often associated with breast surgery or radiation therapy as well.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Fort Wayne
About: New breast cancer treatment offers another option for sufferers
Date: 4 January 2005
Source: Fort Wayne
Author: Jennifer L. Boen
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