MammoSite® is an innovative option that treats breast cancer while conserving breast tissue. This type of treatment is known as breast conservation therapy (BCT).
The MammoSite Radiation Therapy System (RTS) delivers a high dose of radiation directly to the location in the breast where cancer is most likely to recur.
About the procedure
First, the tumor is removed with a lumpectomy (removal of the lump and some surrounding breast tissue).
Next, the surgeon places a small saline-filled balloon in the exact location where the tumor had been located. This is the spot where cancer is most likely to recur, due to the possibility of residual cancer cells.
A few days later, the radiation oncologist inserts a tiny radioactive seed into the balloon. This delivers radiation to the area where the tumor had been. The seed is left in for a few minutes and then removed. This process is repeated twice a day for five days.
How it’s different
Conventional treatment has been a lumpectomy followed by 6 to 7 weeks of radiation therapy. Traditionally, radiation was directed at the entire breast.
MammoSite is different because it delivers a high dose of radiation to only a targeted location in the breast.
When compared with conventional radiation therapy, the benefits of MammoSite include:
- Treatment that takes just 5 days, instead of 6 to 7 weeks
- Fewer side effects
- Decreased radiation to surrounding tissues and structures (like the heart and lungs)
Candidates for treatment
MammoSite is not a treatment option for all breast cancer patients. It is for certain cancer patients who undergo lumpectomies. Tumor size, stage of cancer and other aspects must be evaluated by your doctor.
The treatment is covered by most insurance companies and HealthEast Cancer Care staff is available to help with the pre-authorization process.
Where it’s available
MammoSite procedures are performed at St. John’s Hospital.
For more information, call HealthEast Cancer Care at 651-232-7970 or visit www.mammosite.com.