Breast Cancer Treatments

According to the American Cancer Society, every year more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. For decades, conventional breast radiotherapy has helped save the lives of many women. Despite its great success, conventional breast radiotherapy can expose the heart, lungs, and other organs to radiation. The result can be side effects such as coronary artery disease, lung scarring, and secondary malignancies.1,2

Patients and the medical community accept these side effects as a given in order to appropriately treat the cancer. With proton therapy, an advanced radiation treatment targets the cancer and reduces radiation to healthy tissues and organs.

Request more information or call 877.887.5807 to learn if you can benefit from proton therapy.

Watch a Video: Proton Therapy for Breast Cancer

Advantages of Proton Therapy in Locally Advanced Stage III Breast Cancer

Proton therapy has unique attributes that reduce radiation exposure to normal, healthy organs.3,4 This is especially important in left-sided breast cancer, as the cancer is close to critical organs such as the heart and the lungs. As the data to the left shows, patients with left-sided breast cancer are more likely than patients with right-sided breast cancer to develop cardiovascular diseases after receiving radiation treatment.

Additionally, in a dosimetric study of breast cancer where proton therapy was compared to traditional radiation,4,5 proton therapy significantly reduces radiation to normal tissues. Lung and heart doses were compared to 3-D conformal radiotherapy (3-D CRT) and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with considerable improvement.

These remarkable results show that proton therapy is a great treatment option for women who are concerned about potential side effects from radiation treatment.

The image to the left shows the amount of radiation that the body receives during treatment for advanced breast cancer with proton therapy in comparison to X-ray or photon therapy treatment. Colors indicate areas of the body that received radiation. Compared to X-ray, proton therapy significantly reduced the dose of radiation to the heart and surrounding healthy tissue.

Chicago Proton CenterChicago Proton Center

A Phase II Clinical Trial for Breast Cancer

The Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center is among the first to introduce proton therapy to patients with locally advanced breast cancer who have undergone either breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy.6 We are here to help you fight your breast cancer with a powerful tool that could spare more healthy tissue.

You may be eligible for and benefit the most from proton therapy if you:5,7

  • Have breast cancer involving the lymph nodes
  • Have other risk factors that indicate the inclusion of lymph node irradiation
  • Will be receiving cardiotoxic chemotherapy, such as doxorubicin or trastuzumab
  • Have preexisting vascular comorbidity, cardiac disease, lung disease, or increased risk of developing a secondary malignancy
  • • Have anatomy that places normal organs at elevated risk of radiation exposure

Learn more about clinical trials for proton therapy.

Chicago Proton Center Breast Cancer