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Health.com: 9 Big Breast Cancer Breakthroughs for 2013

Safer Radiation in Less Time

For women with small ER-positive tumors—about two-thirds of breast cancer patients, says Holly Pederson, MD, a medical breast specialist at the Cleveland Clinic—studies have shown that undergoing one high dose of radiation during a lumpectomy is as effective as six weeks of postsurgical radiation. Plus, there's less risk of harming healthy lung and heart tissue. That's because the radiation is delivered to a 1-centimeter area surrounding the lumpectomy cavity, versus the whole breast. About 40 medical centers in the U.S. offer this approach, called intraoperative radiation therapy.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
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