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Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT)

Surgery

An Innovative Approach to Breast Cancer Treatment

As a leading provider of comprehensive breast care in the region and one of the highest volume breast centers in New York State, Rochester Regional Health’s Breast Center and the Lipson Cancer Institute are committed to bringing leading-edge breast cancer treatment to patients, helping them redefine the odds and get back to living full, healthy lives.

Intraoperative Radiation Therapy is proof of this commitment. Being the first in Western New York to offer IORT, we use an entire team of experts who customize their treatment for every patient, every time.

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What is Intraoperative Radiation Therapy?

Intraoperative Radiation Therapy, or IORT, is a single session of low-energy, high-dose targeted radiation administered directly into the tumor site at the time of lumpectomy.  

After the lumpectomy, a spherical applicator on the IORT device is placed directly into the tumor bed and delivers a smaller dose of x-rays than is transported in standard radiation therapy.

Who is a Candidate for IORT?

Breast cancer patients who would normally undergo a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy are ideal candidates for IORT. Candidates typically:

  • are in early stages of breast cancer
  • are over the age of 50
  • have small tumors, typically 3 centimeters or smaller

At the Rochester Regional Health Breast Center, each patient is evaluated by a team of experts across specialized fields, including surgery and radiation therapy. Together, we'll determine the most effective approach for treating your cancer.

We offer numerous types of advanced radiation therapies, each with its own benefits and risks, and we'll guide you through a customized treatment plan based on your unique condition.

Learn More About IORT

Hear Lori Medeiros, MD, Executive Director of the Rochester Regional Health Breast Center, explain how IORT is used to treat eligible patients.

Benefits of IORT

For many women, IORT offers numerous benefits over external beam radiation therapy:

  • Saves time and stress: Radiation is given immediately at the time of surgery, allowing patients to complete the therapy sooner, which also helps reduce physical and psychological stress.
  • Convenient: Takes just one 30-minute session, as opposed to daily radiation for up to six weeks. For most patients who undergo IORT, there are typically no return trips for radiation, meaning less time away from work and family.
  • Targeted: The radiation dose is much smaller, and is given directly and internally to the sections of the breast with the biggest risks of cancer reoccurrence.
  • Decreased side effects: Nearby organs and tissues receive less radiation, resulting in fewer side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

If you have questions or would like more information on the comprehensive breast services offered at the Breast Center or on IORT, please contact us at 585.922.4715.