New technique shows promise


Dr. Chace Lottich with the intraoperative radiation therapy machine in an operating room at the Indiana Surgery Center at Community Hospital South in Indianapolis. PHOTO BY SCOTT ROBERSON

In the span of 20 minutes, radiologists can now treat some breast cancer patients more effectively than ever before.

Packing a fine beam of radiation at a specific spot in the breast, a new treatment has replaced what previously had taken six or seven weeks. Patients are spared weeks of pain, discomfort, burning and dead tissue.

Early results indicate it’s working.

In March, Community Health Network became the first hospital in central Indiana to offer intraoperative radiation therapy for breast cancer patients. The new technique in treating the disease allows for a single dose of radiation to be given at the time of surgery, rather than for weeks afterward.

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