Ensuring accurate delivery of radiation is especially important for left-breast cancer. Your heart is close to your breast; in one study, 27% of patients showed heart abnormalities six months after their radiation treatment¹. But there is a treatment option that can help: AlignRT, used alongside a technique called Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) can help protect your heart.
Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) is a technique used to move your heart away from the left breast during radiation therapy. You will be asked to take a deep breath and hold it for 20 seconds. While you hold your breath the radiation is delivered. Taking a deep breath moves the heart down and away from the breast to reduce radiation exposure to the heart during treatment.
However, achieving the same breath hold position, to within a few millimeters, several times over many days during your treatment journey, can be difficult1. You breathe in different ways at different times and may even arch your back during treatment. These different movements may affect where your radiation is delivered and may not separate the heart from the breast.
Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) is often used with a new positioning and movement monitoring technology called AlignRT®.
AlignRT® monitors the treatment area, to help ensure that your breath hold position is exactly the same each day. AlignRT® projects a light on your skin, acting like thousands of virtual tattoos. These images are inputted into a software program that monitors your positioning with sub-millimeter accuracy and ensures you are treated in the correct position. If you lose your breath or move out of the desired position during treatment, AlignRT® will automatically pause the radiation beam or alert your therapist immediately who will then reposition you.
AlignRT® + DIBH helps ensure accurate and safe treatment.