When is radiation boost given?

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Question from Kaye: When is radiation boost given? I am worried because I didn't have boost. I had bilateral mastectomy; main tumor was in upper inner quad—pleomorphic invasive lobular. Also had tumor in nipple with dermal lymphatics and high-grade DCIS with extensive comedo necrosis.
Answers - Lydia Komarnicky, M.D. If someone has a mastectomy and radiation therapy is necessary, typically the chest wall is treated, but not necessarily with a boost. The patients who typically receive a boost as part of their radiation treatment planning are those patients who have an intact breast.

In other words, those patients who've not had a mastectomy will require whole breast radiation plus a boost to where the tumor was located. If a mastectomy has been performed, there is no need to have a boost. Although rare circumstances happen where you may, but usually where a mastectomy is performed, a boost is not performed as part of the treatment plan.

On Wednesday, March 17, 2004, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Radiation Therapy UpdatesLydia T. Komarnicky, M.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about advances in radiation therapy: the newest and best techniques, combining radiation therapy with other treatments, ways to manage, reduce or eliminate side effects, and more.

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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