A new system used during breast operations saves the patient weeks of radiation



Shaare Zedek's breast surgeons have integrated a new Intrabeam system which allows a focused eradication of breast tumors during the operation. After the tumor is removed, the head of the device is inserted into the operational cavity. Using low-frequency x-ray beams, the device completely destroys the tumor margins. The treatment was found to be very effective due to the proximity of the rays to the tumor, thus eliminating the need for radiation treatment after the operation (up till now - the standard course of treatment for these procedures), preventing burns and damage to healthy tissue.
"The purpose of treating cancerous tumors in general and breast cancer in particular is to remove the tumor in its entirety and leave clean margins", explains Dr. Moshe Carmon, Director of the Breast Surgery Unit at Shaare Zedek. "Until now we implemented a series of external radiation treatments over several weeks after the surgery to ensure the tumor will not return or spread. The new system cancels the need for these prolonged treatments. A half hour of radiation at the final stage of the operation promises a complete eradication of any growth particles at the edges of the cut and will most likely render the need for future radiation superfluous. As for the patients, this offers a great advantage - for an extra half-hour in the operating room they save the trouble of coming for a long and strenuous series of radiation therapy".
"One of the difficulties facing patients after the removal of a mass from their breast is the need to come for many radiation treatments that disrupt their lives", says Dr. Ora Rosengarten, Director of the Oncological Gynecology Unit at Shaare Zedek. "To penetrate the outer skin layer of the breast, you need high doses of radiation. Therefore we divide the treatment into several sessions so as not to cause. The advantage of applying radiation treatment during surgery is that the radiation is done within the breast circumference while using focused x-ray beams, so one radiation blast is equivalent to many external radiations. Another advantage is the prevention of damage to vital organs around the breast. Radiation during surgery doesn't damage the skin around the radiated area and doesn’t cause any damage to vital internal organs such as the heart and lungs that are adjacent to the breast. This is a maximal treatment with minimal side effects".