Osborn Office
7337 E. 2nd St.

Scottsdale, Arizona 85251

(480) 922-4600

10460 N. 92nd St.

Scottsdale, Arizona 85258

(480) 922-4600

19646 N. 27th Ave. Suite 108

Phoenix, Arizona 85027

(480) 922-4600

3645 S. Rome Street Ste. 116

Gilbert, Arizona 85297

(480) 922-4600
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External Beam Radiation

The standard method of giving radiation after lumpectomy is external beam radiation. A radiation beam is created in a machine called a linear accelerator - linac for short. These beams are carefully shaped and aimed at the breast while the patient lies on the table under the machine.
External beam radiation for breast cancer
A typical course of external beam radiation for breast cancer consists of once daily treatment, five days a week, for six to seven weeks. Patients do not stay in the hospital. In fact, each visit to the radiation clinic usually lasts less than 30 minutes. Many patients chose to continue to work during treatment and most are able to go about their normal activities. Most patients feel nothing during daily treatment with external beam radiation. No part of the treatment machine - the linac - touches the patient. The radiation beam is invisible and is projected out of the machine and penetrates through the breast.
There are two categories of side effects for patients getting radiation therapy. Short-term side effects occur during treatment and may last for several weeks after treatment is over. Short-term side effects are temporary and disappear a few weeks after all the treatments are over. Long-term side effects generally occur several months after treatment or even years later. A small number of long term side effects can be permanent, but are almost always mild and do not affect a woman's long term quality of life.
Illustration: Radiation "targeted" beam treating the breast.
Despite current screening mammography, some patients are diagnosed with locally-advanced and inflammatory breast cancers. These patiets need external beam radiation to reduce recurrence rates after chemotherapy and surgery.
Our physicians have over 30 years of the technical expertise to deliver this treatment with comprehensive coverage of all sites at risk, but minimizing lung and heart exposure. External beam radiation for breast cancer is very successful. With this treatment, recurrence of cancer in the breast is very uncommon and side effects are usually very mild.
The results after external beam radiation can be seen in the following photos. These excellent results are what you can expect.
Long term results after External Beam Radiation
Another view of the results
after External Beam Radiation
Radiation of the breast tissue can be performed by different techniques. To learn more, click here.
What to Expect
There are a few short term side effects that usually start a few weeks into treatment. To learn more, click here.
Late Effects
There are very real long-term side effects from external beam radiation. To learn more, click here.