Doctors at Apollo have developed a new radiation technique to prevent patients from life-threatening side effects.
What’s it about? The new radiation technique to treat breast cancer patients is a deep inspiratory breath hold to protect from life-threatening side effects like heart damage. Targeted radiation uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells and minimises damage to healthy cells. However, when given to the left breast, the heart is exposed.
- A patient takes a deep breath and holds it just before each radiotherapy dose is given. When they hold their breath, their diaphragm pulls the heart away from their chest.
- In those 20 seconds, radiation therapy is given. This way, the heart is less exposed. However, there still isn’t local data on the outcome of this technique, unlike in other countries.
What’s next? Concerning the data, it’ll take five years to provide a clear picture of this technique’s effectiveness in India and which part of the heart remain exposed during treatment. The data will help doctors adjust the dosages and tweak the therapy.