Radiation Therapy to Treat Recurrent and Metastatic Breast Cancer

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If you've had surgery to treat a local or regional breast cancer recurrence, it's almost certain that your doctor will recommend radiation therapy after surgery to kill any cancer cells that may have been left behind.

If you've been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and are having symptoms, your doctor may recommend radiation to:

  • control the cancer in a specific area
  • ease pain
  • lower the risk of a cancer-weakened bone breaking
  • reduce internal bleeding or bleeding from the skin caused by tumor invasion
  • open a blocked airway to improve breathing
  • reduce pressure on a pinched nerve

The radiation dose and schedule to treat recurrent or metastatic breast cancer depends on a number of factors, including:

  • the level of pain or amount of function lost
  • the size of the cancer
  • the location of the cancer
  • the amount of previous radiation you've had
  • the schedule for any other treatments

To learn more about how radiation is used to relieve specific symptoms of metastatic breast cancer, as well as possible side effects, visit the Radiation section.

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