Breast tumors, both cancerous and on-cancerous, are among the most serious health problems women face today, and receiving a breast cancer diagnosis is especially frightening and confusing. Early detection, coupled with early treatment of breast tumors or “lumps,” are the most powerful tools to return women to good health.

To help you through this difficult time, you need a comprehensive team of medical experts helping you understand your diagnosis, discuss your options and provide the very best medical care. Wesley offers the most innovative, leading-edge treatment and compassionate care in the region.

After five years of follow-up, researchers have found that IORT has a similar breast cancer survival rate as standard radiation therapy.

"The fact that my treatment was done before I even woke up is beyond words."

Breast Cancer Treatment

For patients with early stage breast cancer, a lumpectomy is often included in the treatment plan. This procedure allows the surgeon to remove the cancerous tumor while conserving as much of the healthy breast tissue as possible. A lumpectomy is performed in conjunction with a course of radiation to ensure that all cancerous cells are destroyed.

Typically, an aggressive schedule of radiation treatments are scheduled after the lumpectomy. Treatments are given every weekday for six to seven weeks. The side effects include excessive fatigue and a skin burn similar to a significant sunburn. In recent years, some patients have been able to undergo an accelerated schedule--twice a day for five consecutive weekdays.

Wesley’s new Brachytherapy Radiation Therapy technology offers certain patients the possibility of Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT). This highly advanced system delivers the entire course or radiation therapy in the operating room at the time of lumpectomy surgery – eliminating the need for weeks of travel, disruption to their daily lives and anxiety.

IORT Procedure

Step 1:
The surgeon will remove the tumor while preserving the remaining breast tissue.

Step 2:
Immediately after the cancer is removed, a small inflatable balloon is placed into the surgical cavity.

Step 3:
Radiation therapy utilizing our new IORT system is then delivered and can take as little as 8 minutes to complete.

Step 4:
After radiation therapy is delivered, the surgeon will remove the balloon and complete the operation.

Advantages of IORT

  • Intraoperative Radiation Therapy at the time of surgery avoids the need for 6 to 7 weeks of post-operative External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT). This means less travel, fewer days off work, fewer appointment and less emotional stress.
  • Radiotherapy is delivered directly to the tumor bed, the part of the breast at highest risk of recurrence.
  • If reconstruction is a consideration it can be completed during your surgery.
  • Less radiation is delivered to surrounding healthy organs and tissue.

After five years of follow up, researchers have found that IORT has a similar breast cancer survival rate as standard radiation therapy.

Visit with your surgeon to determine if you are a candidate for Breast IORT, exclusively at Wesley. To find a physician who performs IORT, please call (316) 962-DOCS or to learn more about IORT, please call Wesley Cancer Care at (316) 962-6100.