Radiation Treatment Intensity Can Be Controlled

For breast cancer patients, radiation treatments are often an essential part of a complete recovery, killing any cancer cells left over from surgery.

For many women radiation causes unpleasant side effects, until now.

Dana Markoff is in constant motion.

This mother of four was worried she would develop painful skin burns from radiation.

Instead of standard radiation, doctors gave her intensity modulated radiation therapy or IMRT.

Doctors can better control the beam's intensity.

When a section of the breast has had enough radiation, the machine's focus gets tighter.

Jean-Phillipe Pignol, M.D., Sunnybrook Health Sciences said, "By doing that, you can deliver the dose extremely evenly, and basically you can suppress any hot spots."

Doctors say with traditional radiation, half of patients experience painful skin burns.

Patients who have IMRT are three times less likely to have severe skin reactions.


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