Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI) or brachytherapy is a radiation treatment that’s carried out locally. It entails inserting radioactive seeds in the breast tumor to destroy remaining cancer cells after lumpectomy. Usually, treatment begins one to four weeks after undergoing lumpectomy.
A catheter known as SAVI (Strut Assisted Volume Implant) guides the delivery of high-dose radiation seeds. Since the source of radiation is within the chest, it’s possible to deliver a higher dose radiation within a short duration.
After surgery, the doctor places a small catheter in the lumpectomy cavity after making a small incision in the breast. The doctor then expands the catheter so it can fit well in the tumor cavity.
During treatment, a part of the catheter is left outside the breast and connected to a machine, which delivers small radiation seeds into the cavity. The seeds stay for varying periods of time after which they are removed.
The machine is disconnected and you can leave the treatment facility until the next scheduled treatment. You need two treatments daily for five days. This eliminates the need to stay at the hospital.
The catheter remains intact for those five days. At the end of the five days, the doctor removes the catheter through the same incision used to insert it.
The Patient Criteria for APBI
- The patient should be 50 years or older
- The tumor should be 3 cm or less
- The patient’s lymph nodes should be negative
Benefits of APBI
- Eliminates several hospital trips to receive treatment
- Normal breast tissues receive less exposure to radiation
- Lower out-of-pocket costs
- Higher patient satisfaction
- Cosmetic outcomes are potentially improved
At Texas Breast Care, we have experienced doctors who provide lumpectomy and other breast cancer surgical procedures. Once you’ve undergone any procedure, a physician will evaluate your progress to establish whether you need to undergo radiation treatment using APBI.
We provide high-quality breast care to our patients. Contact us today to have a professional answer all your questions.