Dr. Song shares how long it takes to see results after a woman starts radiation therapy.
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Seeing Results After Radiation Therapy Well most of the times when we treat with radiation for breast cancer it’s in a post-operative setting where the actual lump or lesion has been removed. So what we are doing is trying to take care of any microscopic disease that may be too small to be seen on any mammogram or MRI. And the idea is that when women are found to have a small lesion that they may have cells elsewhere in the breast. So there isn’t an actual tumor that you can measure on a weekly basis or during the course of radiation, which is shrinking as you follow it. What we are really trying to do is ensure that over the life of the patient there is no recurrence of breast cancer in the breast. That’s what the goal of radiation therapy in this particular case is. Now once in a while we do see women with advanced breast cancer where it is not operable and we have to give radiation upfront to try to shrink this down, and in that particular case you can see on a weekly basis how that’s responding. But the majority of the women that we see there isn’t any visible, measurable disease there that we can monitor and see how things are progressing.