Breast Cancer: Accelerated Partial-Breast Irradiation
Accelerated partial-breast irradiation (APBI) is a more targeted form of radiation that delivers high-energy X-rays to only that portion of breast tissue affected by cancer. This treatment is an option for certain women who have undergone breast-conserving surgery for early-stage breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). There are many ways to deliver APBI. Most deliver treatments twice a day for five days.
Brachytherapy is the most common type of accelerated partial-breast irradiation (APBI) at UW Health. Internal radiation treatments are delivered through small catheters (thin tubes) placed in the breast. For each treatment, the radiation goes through the catheters into the breast and directly to the site affected by cancer. The radiation stays inside the body for a short period of time (about 10 minutes) and is then taken out. Breast brachytherapy is more direct than whole breast radiation therapy. This means healthy breast, skin, rib, muscle, lung and heart tissue is exposed to lower doses of radiation.