Radiation therapy has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for breast cancer, but the left breast is close to the heart, which leaves the heart at risk of radiation exposure. This has been shown to sometimes lead to post-treatment heart conditions¹ like heart disease and heart attacks.
Taking a deep breath moves the heart down and away from the breast to reduce the radiation exposure during treatment. This technique is referred to as Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH). AlignRT® monitors your breath hold and positioning and tells your treatment team when your breast is in the right position so they can turn the radiation beam on. It is important to seek treatment at a center that uses AlignRT®+ DIBH to help protect your heart during treatment and prevent long term side effects.
A recent study1 showed that AlignRT® + DIBH prevented radiation-induced abnormalities in blood flow to the heart. Of the breast cancer patients treated, 0% showed abnormalities after six months. This compares to a previous study without AlignRT® or DIBH, where 27% of patients showed abnormalities in blood flow to the heart 6 months after radiation therapy2.
AlignRT® + DIBH helps ensure accurate and safe treatment.
To help you have an informed conversation with your doctor, please feel free to use our downloadable discussion guide
Find a center that offers AlignRT.
1 Zagar et al. Utility of Deep inspiration breath-hold for left sided breast radiation therapy in preventing early cardiac perfusion defects – A Prospective Study. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2017
2 Marks et al. The incidence and functional consequences of RT-associated cardiac perfusion defects. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005 Sep 1;63(1):214-23
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