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Pract Radiat Oncol. 2013;3(1):9-15. Epub 2013 Jan 5.

Effect of Bra Use during Radiotherapy for Large-Breasted Women: Acute Toxicity and Treated Heart and Lung Volumes.

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  • 1Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Large breast size presents special problems during radiation simulation, planning and patient treatment, including increased skin toxicity, in women undergoing breast-conserving surgery and radiotherapy (BCT). We report our experience using a bra during radiation in large-breasted women and its effect on acute toxicity and heart and lung dosimetry.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

From 2001 to 2006, 246 consecutive large-breasted women (bra size ≥ 38 and/or ≥ D cup) were treated with BCT using either 3D conformal (3D-CRT) or Intensity Modulated Radiation (IMRT). In 58 cases, at the physicians' discretion, a custom-fit bra was used during simulation and treatment. Endpoints were acute radiation dermatitis, and dosimetric comparison of heart and lung volumes in a subgroup of 12 left-sided breast cancer patients planned with and without a bra.

RESULTS:

The majority of acute skin toxicities were grade 2 and were experienced by 90% of patients in a bra compared to 70% of patients not in a bra (p=0.003). On multivariate analysis significant predictors of grade 2/3 skin toxicity included 3D-CRT instead of IMRT (OR=3.9, 95% CI:1.8-8.5) and the use of a bra (OR=5.5, 95% CI:1.6-18.8). For left-sided patients, use of a bra was associated with a volume of heart in the treatment fields decreased by 63.4% (p=0.002), a volume of left lung decreased by 18.5% (p=0.25), and chest wall separation decreased by a mean of 1 cm (p=0.03).

CONCLUSIONS:

The use of a bra to augment breast shape and position in large-breasted women is an alternative to prone positioning and associated with reduced chest wall separation and reduced heart volume within the treatment field.

KEYWORDS:

Breast; radiation therapy; support bra

PMID:
23459714
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3580873
Free PMC Article
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