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Holding breath beneficial for breast cancer patients

Tue, Jan 06, 2015, 12:37 PM
New York, Jan 6: New research shows that a breast cancer patient who holds her breath during radiation treatment can greatly reduce exposure to the heart.

Recent studies have shown that women with cancer in the left breast are at higher risk of heart disease. Such women present a particular challenge to radiation oncologists because it can be difficult to ensure that a sufficient dose of radiation is delivered to while adequately shielding the heart from exposure.

"We wanted to determine how effective breath-hold could be in shielding the heart from extraneous radiation exposure during treatment of the left breast," said first study author Harriet Eldredge-Hindy, researcher in the department of radiation oncology at Thomas Jefferson University.

The breath-holding technique allows doctors to monitor a patient's breath for the position that shifts the heart out of the range of the radiation beam.

The findings were published in the journal Practical Radiation Oncology.
Agency: IANS

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