Dr. Linda Smith recently sat down and spoke with the BrachyAcademy about the advancements and benefits of APBI in treating her patients with breast cancer.
Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) is a breast radiation therapy (brachytherapy) that is specifically localized to the part of the breast where the cancer cells exist. APBI delivers a highly focused dose of radiation that in turn reduces treatment time considerably.
Advantages of APBI for breast cancer
Some advantages of APBI for breast cancer include:
- With APBI, breast radiation therapy treatments are focused specifically on the part of the breast where the tumor was removed, so radiation is contained to the tumor cavity as much as possible.
- Because the radiation is so targeted, it affects less of the healthy tissue and organs close to the breasts, including the lungs, heart, ribs, muscles and skin.
- APBI can be given in a more condensed schedule than some other radiation therapies for breast cancer (five days instead of six to seven weeks).
Brachytherapy is a form of radiotherapy where a sealed radiation source is place inside or next to the treatment area. Brachytherapy is commonly used as an effective treatment for cervical, prostate, breast and skin cancer and can also be used to treat tumors in many other parts of the body.
Typical requirements for APBI treatments include small tumor, clear surgical margins after a lumpectomy and preferably no lymph nodes containing cancer.
As a comprehensive breast care specialist Dr. Linda Smith is excited that APBI has allowed her to focus on Breast conservation therapy (BCT), which has allowed treatment to be reduced from 5 to 6 weeks down to 5 to 6 days