Risky to have radiation to spine?

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Question from DeLeisa: I have metastasis in the spinal bones. How risky is it to have radiation there — I mean, having the spinal cord damaged?
Answers - Marisa Weiss, M.D. Radiation therapy is a very effective way to get rid of cancer cells when they travel to an area of the spine. Radiation can reduce pain, and reduce the risk that the cancer could impinge upon the spinal cord, thus causing loss of neurologic function. Radiation in this setting is very safe if delivered in a modern radiation therapy department by a board-certified radiation oncologist. The benefit of this treatment far outweighs any potential side effects.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer featured Larry Norton, M.D. and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about managing day-to-day life with metastatic breast cancer.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in October 2007.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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