How Radiation Therapy Affects Breast Reconstruction

How Radiation Therapy Affects Breast Reconstruction

Radiation therapy is one of the most powerful tools available today to treat breast cancer. Before, radiation therapy was mostly used on women who had undergone a lumpectomy – a procedure wherein there occurs only a partial removal of breast tissue. However, with advances in technique and technology relative to cancer treatment, radiation therapy has been shown to be equally of value to women who have had mastectomies, specifically to those who have had deterring cancer reoccurrence upon breast augmentation and the subsequent surgery. Women who received a mastectomy might benefit from the use of radiation therapy with breast reconstruction in these cases: • Large tumor sizes • Axillary lymph nodes with the potential for either cancer or quite close surgical resection margins. Timing The issue of timing is very important as it relates to breast reconstruction and radiation therapy. Due to the sensitivity of the treatment schedule, some of the issues that might arise include the timing of: • Reconstruction and chemotherapy • Reconstruction and radiation The timing of reconstruction must also be considered, as it can either occur during the mastectomy or after the procedure. Whether or not you are a suitable candidate for breast surgery during or after your mastectomy depends entirely on your personal history, which is why a specialized and knowledgeable reconstructive surgeon is key. Treatment The primary treatment option for surgery while receiving radiation therapy is the DIEP flap. The surgery involves using the patient’s own tissue while utilizing radiation as needed to mitigate any potential risks for the future outcome of the reconstruction. Finding a reputable surgeon in the Dallas, Texas area...