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MammoSite® (breast cancer treatment)

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When breast cancer is found early, the patient may be a candidate for an effective 5-day radiation treatment called “MammoSite®”. This specialized and highly targeted procedure shortens the daily treatment regime from as much as 30 days to 5 – while maintaining excellent outcomes.

Your doctor may refer you to Mission Viejo Radiation Oncology Center for evaluation by our MammoSite® specialists – physicians trained and experienced in this treatment. Not every patient is a candidate – the cancer must meet specific requirements which include the type of cancer, original tumor size before lumpectomy, the patient’s age and the surgical outcomes.

How MammoSite®  Works

Mammosite catheter illustrationMammoSite®  treatment works from the inside to target the exact location of the cancerous lump. After the tumor and some of the surrounding normal tissue are removed during a lumpectomy, a cavity is created in the breast. A balloon catheter is then placed into this void and inflated. A small tube from the catheter extends outside the breast. During treatment, a specialized, high-dose rate machine connects to the catheter and inserts a radiation “seed” for a few minutes. The seed is removed and no radiation remains inside between treatments.

The length of the treatment and the size and dose of the seed must be precisely calibrated to the specifics of each patient’s case. This is where Mission Viejo's physicians, dosimetrists and physicists collaborate behind the scenes to design an effective treatment plan. Some patients will need to be treated twice daily – visiting the center both morning and afternoon for the five days.

Once the treatment is over, the balloon catheter is removed through the small incision, which then heals naturally.

Side Effects

MammoSite®  is generally well tolerated. For most patients there are few side effects. When they do occur, side effects include redness, soreness, and bruising. These are also the common side effects of breast surgery and usually resolve with a little time. Sometimes, a small amount of fluid drains from the site of the catheter. This is normal and typically goes away soon after treatment ends. There is a risk for infection because of the indwelling cathetor. Also there may be persistent firmness or seroma (fluid collection) in the treatment area.

For More Information

The following brochure is provided courtsey of Hologic Inc. and affiliates, maker of MammoSite® Radiation Therapy System

adobeReader  Moving Breast Cancer Treatment Forward

In-depth information online, includes videos illustrating the procedure: