New technology drastically cuts cancer treatment time - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New technology drastically cuts cancer treatment time

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- There's a new option for Breast Cancer patients that involves much shorter treatments than traditional radiation.

Traditional External Radiation Therapy typically takes 5 - 7 weeks for treatment.  The new option can shorten that down to 5 days. 

Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation reduces the treatment area from the entire breast to the area immediately around the lumpectomy site.  That means radiation is delivered in fewer fractions at larger doses per fraction.

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare offers the treatment at Covenant Cancer Treatment Center in Waterloo.  It's one of the few places you can find it in the midwest.

Not everyone will qualify for this treatment.  Dr. Cassandra Foens, a radiation oncologist with Covenant says it's a better fit for older patients.  Dr. Foens says it's also being used in places to treat Uterine Cancer.

Online Producer: Mike Verlo

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