Dr. Ho on Postmastectomy Radiation Therapy

Alice Y. Ho, MD
Published Online: Thursday, August 22, 2013

Alice Y. Ho, MD, radiation oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, discusses postmastectomy radiation therapy for patients with breast cancer who have undergone breast reconstructive surgery.

Ho says there are clinical benefits of using postmastectomy radiation therapy for women with breast cancer, but it becomes difficult to treat patients who have had reconstructive surgery.

The main problem, Ho says, is that doctors do not always know how to sequence reconstructive surgery with radiation therapy. There are also technical challenges with giving radiation to patients with implants because those patients do not have flat chest walls, unlike patients without breast reconstruction. Lastly, it is difficult to time the components of treatment for patients who have undergone breast reconstruction, Ho says.

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