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Questions about Radiation Therapy.
|Asked||Publicly Submitted Question|
|04/24/2003||I am 37 years old with a 5mm invasive ductal carcinoma. I also have in-situ ductal carcinoma. They have not checked my lymph nodes yet. I had breast implants 3 years ago. They are under my muscle. The radiation oncologist has suggested doing brachytherapy. He would implant seeds for 4 days. Or he is willing to do 6 weeks of 5 times a week of standard radiation. The fear is that the implants will become encapsulated. What does encapsulated mean? What are the chances this would happen with regular radiation? Would the brachytherapy offer the same benefits as whole breast radiation? If the implants are affected by the radiation how hard would it be to replace it at a later date?|
|Replied||JHU's Breast Center Reply|
|04/25/2003||There is very little experience with brachytherapy and implants because brachytherapy is very new and still in research mode. Radiation, by history though, causes the tissue to lose elasticity and can create a hardening of the tissues around the implant resulting in the implant getting hard and tightening up. In some cases the hardness is very hard-- like a rock; in other cases it is only a little bit. It varies from patient to patient. As mentinoned there is little known about how brachytherapy may effect implants so ask your doctor to talk with a patient who is the same as you-- has an implant in and had brachy done. If there isn't such a patient then you know you are traveling territory that is new... often times implants are removed during radiation. (Also pursue getting your nodes checked...)|
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