Prone Breast Radiation

One of my subscribers just shared with me that she chose to have prone breast radiation, as opposed to the usual supine, or face-up style of radiation.

I hadn’t heard of this before so I’ve just done some research for you and wanted to share it with you.  Color me impressed!

Minimizes Damage to Cardiac and Lung Tissue

What I liked about the research on prone breast radiation is that with the breast dangling down away from the body during radiation in the prone position, radiation exposure to the surrounding organs and tissues, such as the heart and lungs, is minimized. This lowers the risk of complications, such as future heart disease and lung damage, which was a definite deciding factor for me when I decided against radiotherapy.

Adjuvant radiotherapy to the breast appears to contribute to improved outcomes in persons with breast cancer after breast-preservation surgery, however, whole breast radiotherapy is associated with damage to the heart and lung, increased cardiovascular mortality, and the development of lung cancer, acknowledged Dr Silvia C Formenti, of the NYU School of Medicine, New York, and colleagues in a JAMA research letter (2012;308[9]:861-863).  Some patients are apparently having problems with supine breast radiation some 15 to 20 years after treatment.

Video Shows More

I found a You Tube video showing the equipment – it’s rather like an info-mercial so you might want to ignore the obvious selling component, but the video does show you the positioning of the patient and the breast so you can see how it all works.

As with most new technology, this is not available in all areas, it is generally only available in larger treatment centers in major cities.  But as I mentioned in my article on hyperthermia we are going to have to start demanding the equipment and treatments that provide us with the best technology and chances for living disease-free.  Ask your doctor – the more people who ask for this (and sometimes we have to educate our doctors!) the more chances this type of radiotherapy will become more mainstream and available.


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