A lump in the breast can lead to a lot of speculation and fear in women as breast lumps are always associated with malignant tumours. However, lump formations are very common all throughout a woman’s life and more than eighty percent of these lumps are harmless and go away on their own.
But all women are not so lucky as to discover lumps that are harmless. Some of these lumps are definitely going to be cancerous. Checking these lumps and ensuring that you undergo treatment to arrest its growth are important factors that contribute to the life expectancy of women.
There are many ways by which you can undergo treatment for malignant breast lumps. Much depends on the stage of the cancer and early diagnosis of the cancerous lumps. Radiation therapy is one of the commonest forms of breast lump treatments. Here are some facts about radiation treatment.
Lump Treatment With Radiation
Radiation treatment can be administered in several ways. Each stage of breast cancer has varying amounts of radiation treatment that is used for destruction of cancer cells and also as a preventive method for stopping any chance of recurrence. The doctor will assess the stage and extent of cancer and decide on the method of radiation treatment.
Radiation Treatment After Surgery
After a surgical procedure where the ovaries, fallopian tubes and other affected organs are removed, the patient could still have the risk of cancerous cells remaining inside the body. To remove this risk, doctors normally suggest radiation treatment for up to seven weeks.
Application of radiation will help remove the threat of recurrence of cancer. However, there could be side effects like radiation exposure to organs that are located nearby and sometimes the damage could be permanent.
It is important to note that radiation treatment will not protect you completely against a recurrence. Studies show that up to 14 % women go into recurrence even after radiation treatment and timely and early intervention. In such cases doctors would suggest complete removal of the breast tissue which will prevent the recurrence of breast cancer.
Effects Of Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy cannot be considered as a safe treatment method due to the damages it can cause to other organs of the body which can be permanent or temporary. Exposure to radiation can result in severe organ damage that can be detrimental to future pregnancies in young women. Therefore radiation treatment is done only when there is no other way the cancer can be treated.
Care is taken to ensure that the organs that are located nearby are shielded using lead sheets. Temporary side effects like mild pain, nausea, headache, itching and burning of skin and loss of hair in the affected area are not very grave and go away after a certain period of time without treatment.
Most radiation treatments are undertaken because the risks far outweigh the benefits and the patient life expectancy can be increased in most cases, preventing the chances of recurrence as well. Preventive radiation is sometimes a very essential part of prevention of further episodes of cancer.