Frequently Asked Questions
31. How is radiation therapy used to treat breast cancer?
Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. This therapy often follows a lumpectomy, and is sometimes used after mastectomy. During radiation therapy, a machine outside the body sends high-energy beams to kill the cancer cells that may still be present in the affected breast or in nearby lymph nodes. Doctors sometimes use radiation therapy along with chemotherapy, or before or instead of surgery.