After breast cancer radiotherapy, taking a deep breath and holding your breath is not sad-Instant News-Free Health Network

▲ Figure 2: The patient cooperates with the mouth to bite the breathing tube, clip the nose clip, and wear resistant glasses. The picture is a situational picture The characters in the picture have nothing to to do with this article. (Photo provided by Wang Shenghong)

Text / Wang Shenghong

▲ Figure 1: The patient receives radiotherapy with active breathing regulation technology The picture is a situational picture, and the characters in the picture have nothing to do with this article. (Photo provided by Wang Shenghong)

Ms Chen is 32 years old this year. She was diagnosed with carcinoma in situ on the left breast a month and a half ago. After breast conserving surgery, she was transferred to the outpatient radiation oncology department on for postoperative radiotherapy evaluation.

▲ Figure 3: When you hold your breath after breathing, the breathing curve will be a horizontal line in the green area, and radiotherapy will be performed at this time. The lower right corner is the countdown to the treatment. (Photo provided by Wang Shenghong)

As soon as she entered the clinic, Ms. Chen asked, “Doctor, my friend told me that radiation therapy for breast cancer will damage the heart?” This is a problem that patients receiving radiation therapy after breast cancer surgery may encounter.

Please read on…

▲ Figure 4: Comparison of the distance between the left chest wall and the heart between the way of deep breathing and breath holding and free breathing. (Photo provided by Wang Shenghong)

In fact, some foreign studies have indicated that breast cancer radiation therapy increases the risk of ischemic heart disease and heart failure Progress, the current radiation dose to the heart of breast cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy is on after surgery tends to decrease compared to the past. Especially if special technical support is used, the radiation dose and side effects of the heart can be greatly reduced. Among them, Active Breathing Control (ABC) is the most ideal, which can reduce the average radiation dose to the heart by about 50%, reducing risks and side effects.

Reduces heart radiation dose

Ms. Chen asked, “How is this precision medicine achieved?” In fact, the principle is very simple. When the patient receives treatment, he must cooperate with the method of holding his breath after taking a deep breath (Figure 1). radiotherapy for breast cancer, especially on the left breast, because the heart is on the left, the act of deep breathing and holding the breath can increase the distance between the heart and the chest chamber, keep the heart away from the breast, and reduce the radiation dose to the heart. When breathing in and holding the breath, the lung volume increases, which can also reduce the radiation dose to the lungs, so it’s safer!

During the treatment, the patient must cooperate with wearing several pieces of equipment (Figure 2), bite the snorkel, similar to a diving tube bite, and put a nose clip on the nose to remind the patient to breathe with r snorkel; then wear resistant Glasses, through the resistant glasses, you can see your own breathing curve on the screen When each deep breath reaches the threshold, the computer will help to hold breath, and the patient will perform radiation therapy when the patient cooperates with each breath hold (Figure 3).

It can be seen from the image screenshots that when breathing freely, the chest wall of the left breast is only 2.7 cm away from the heart; but when you hold your breath after a deep breath, the location of the chest wall from the heart can reach 5.2 cm At this time, radiation therapy of the left breast is performed, which may reduce the risk of doses cardiac radiation. (Figure 4)

“Then can I use active breathing control technology?” Miss Chen asked eagerly. I answered: “As long as you can hold your breath for at least 20 seconds and can cooperate with the command, the respiratory flow monitoring system will detect your breathing state, assist you in the process of taking a deep breath and hold your breath, achieve the ideal lung expansion volume, and successfully complete the radiation therapy.”

Miss Chen: “Thank you to Doctor Wang for his explanation. Holding your breath for 20 seconds and following the instructions doesn’t sound too difficult, so I can feel comfortable.”

(The author is the attending physician at the Department of Radiation Oncology, Lugang Christian Hospital)

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