• Cancer

    Expedited breast cancer treatment

Early-stage breast cancer patients now have a fast-track treatment option at Mayo Clinic. Select, low-risk patients are completing their surgery and radiation in less than 10 days. Dennis Douda shows how it works.

Watch: Expedited breast cancer treatment

Journalists: A broadcast-quality video package (3:55) is available in the download. Read the script.

"It’s a great option for women who are really, really busy and would like to complete all their therapy within a [short] time frame and get on with the rest of their life," says Dr. Tina Hieken, a Mayo Clinic surgeon who helped develop the program. "Yet, we're still able to deliver the maximum cancer therapy benefit [with] the optimal treatment to just the right area."

The program combines a pathologist's mid-surgery confirmation that the cancer has not spread, with a type of partial breast radiation called brachytherapy. Dr. Sean Park, a Mayo Clinic radiation oncologist, says their research confirmed that the novel approach works well.

"It was a one-year experience with 123 patients. [Cosmetic] outcomes are excellent, and our results are very good – excellent," says Dr. Park. "All look comparable to the whole breast radiotherapy, if not better in terms of cosmetics."