World-class treatment reduces risks for left-sided breast cancer patients
Oct 23, 2015
World-class new treatment for left-sided breast cancer patients is giving patients peace of mind and a reduced risk of side effects to their heart when treated at Genesis CancerCare, Queensland’s centre at John Flynn Private Hospital at Tugun.
Whilst modern radiotherapy for left-sided breast cancer is a well-proven treatment with low side effects, the new treatment further reduced the risk of radiation injury to the heart.
The new Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) technique requires patients to hold their breath during their daily radiation treatment to increase the distance between the heart and the left breast. When the natural space between the heart and the breast is at its greatest, treatment is delivered, reducing the heart’s exposure to radiation.
This treatment is a significant clinical advance but it also has important benefits in reducing patient anxiety. The proximity of the heart and coronary vessels in patients with left-sided breast cancer can cause concern when radiotherapy is necessary, so the knowledge that radiation risk is reduced can help to lessen some of the traditional treatment stress. Another first for this treatment is that patients participate directly with their treatment, they wear video goggles that allow them to control their depth of breathing during the treatment by visualising how deep their breath hold is. “Once I was familiar with my breathing rhythm, DIBH gave me some control over my own treatment. I didn’t feel a thing post treatment and am absolutely fine,” Ann said.
For more information about Genesis CancerCare Queensland’s radiation therapy services please call (07) 5507 3600 or go to www.genesiscancercareqld.com.au
Radiation therapists will position the patient, then coach them throughout the DIBH treatment via a two-way intercom.
Goggles and a small box containing specialised camera equipment to monitor breathing enables the patient and the radiation therapist to achieve the correct breath hold for treatment.