Saving the Heart in Breast Cancer Radiotherapy with DIBH
Many breast cancer patients require radiation therapy during their treatment. Inside the chest wall, where radiotherapy is given, lies the heart and the lungs.
During conventional radiotherapy, both the heart and the lungs receive a fraction of the radiation that was planned for the chest wall only. Scientists have proven that a few of those patients would have issues with their heart after many years when their left chest wall is treated with radiotherapy conventionally.
We at Kathmandu Cancer Center are using a technique called the DIBH – deep inspiration breath holding technique, where the patient takes a deep breath and holds during some seconds when radiation is given. This way, the heart moves away from the chest wall reducing significantly the dose the heart receives.