Want to know more about breast cancer? Dr Nick Plowman, Clinical Oncologist at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London answers some common questions about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer. Use the video clip menu below to select a question.
- Tell me more about radiotherapy (NOW PLAYING)
- Give me an overview of breast cancer in the UK
- How is breast cancer diagnosed?
- What treatment is there?
- Tell me more about breast surgery
- Tell me more about chemotherapy
- Tell me more about hormone therapy
Video transcript: Tell me more about radiotherapy
Whereas chemotherapy gets to cells all around the body, will pick up any loose or stray cancer cells that have wandered away from the breast or the regional lymph nodes - radiotherapy, which is x-ray beam treatment, is directed only at one area of the body in this case the breast and perhaps the regional lymph nodes.
Radiotherapy is delivered as a daily treatment over many weeks, perhaps five in this instance, and increases the surety of control of the disease in the breast region, where, it is perceived, the patient is at highest risk for having any remaining cancer cells.
We usually use radiotherapy after chemotherapy. It is perceived that the chemotherapy will go all around the body and mop up any loose cells and then we will bring in the radiotherapy which will increase the surety of control of the disease in this area (the breast and regional lymph nodes).