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Single-dose intraoperative radiotherapy (SD-IORT™) for breast cancer is a safe and effective alternative to standard radiotherapy.
Because SD-IORT™ is performed at the same time as your breast lump removal/lumpectomy surgery lots of people find it’s a practical and convenient option.
When you wake up from your operation, your tumour will have been removed and the tumour bed treated with SD-IORT™.
Whether or not you can have SD-IORT™ depends on your age, the stage of your cancer and the treatment you’re having. Generally, SD-IORT™ is suitable for women over 50 with early stage breast cancer and who are suitable for a lumpectomy. The size of the tumour is also important. You will only be able to have SD-IORT™ if your tumour is 3cm or less in size.
While you’re still asleep under anaesthetic, your breast surgeon will place an inflatable balloon applicator into the space where your tumour was removed. Then your surgeon will inflate the balloon until it fits comfortably in the tumour bed. It takes around 10 minutes to deliver the SD-IORT™.
When you wake up from your operation, you might have a drain in your breast to get rid of excess fluid. You may also need to take antibiotics to help stop you from getting an infection. Patients are often able to go home the same day as their surgery, or the day after.
When you wake up after your lumpectomy, you might feel a bit tender and uncomfortable, but most people have fewer side effects following SD-IORT™ than after other types of breast radiotherapy. This is because less of the breast is treated.
Other side effects of SD-IORT™ include:
A small number of people might also notice fluid build-up, bleeding, infection or that the wound is healing slowly.
If you notice any of these side effects or are worried about anything, talk to your breast consultant or breast care nurse.
You have two options to pay for your breast cancer treatment – your costs may be covered by your private medical insurance, or you can pay for yourself.
Check with your private medical insurer to see if your diagnostic costs are covered under your medical insurance policy.
If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the procedure will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation.
Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the consultants’ fees and the hospital charge for your procedure.
For further information or to book a consultation or treatment, please get in touch with our cancer enquiries team: Call us on 0800 157 7747
Content reviewed: October 2014
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