The magazine + vida in its issue nº28 (page 34) published an opinion article by Dr. Paulo Costa – Clinical Coordinator of the Júlio Teixeira Radiotherapy Unit at Instituto CUF Porto:
“There are different application possibilities today”, says Paulo Costa, Clinical Coordinator of the Radioncology Unit at Instituto CUF Porto. “The most conventional is still external radiotherapy, but there is also intraoperative radiotherapy and brachytherapy.”
Intraoperative radiotherapy, in particular, can be used in earlier stages of the disease, in selected cases, within the operating room, during tumor removal surgery. The surgery takes another 30 minutes, but the patient no longer has to undergo radiotherapy afterwards. “It’s something we already do at CUF units. We have a sample of more than 100 patients treated with excellent results”, guarantees Paulo Costa. The doctor reinforces, however, that most patients are still indicated for external radiotherapy: “External radiotherapy today has a great variety of solutions, of which I highlight the accelerated treatments, in which we can treat the patient more quickly without this implying less therapeutic efficacy or increased toxicity.”
Paulo Costa adds: “25 years ago, regardless of the type of breast cancer, practically equal volumes of treatment were used. Today, we are able to treat only the volume where the tumor was – the tumor bed – and preserve the remaining breast structures.”
For this specialist, this is only possible thanks to greater knowledge of tumor biology and better ability to define an integrated therapeutic strategy.
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