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The MammoSite® Radiation Therapy System received FDA clearance in 2002 to treat women with breast cancer. The therapy works from the inside - placed inside the body cavity where the cancer was removed - meaning that a higher daily dose can be delivered during a shorter period of time. Treatment is completed in about 5 days.

How MammoSite simplifies breast cancer treatment:

1. Placement:

  • After the breast cancer tumor is removed (lumpectomy), a small, soft MammoSite balloon attached to a thin tube (catheter) is placed inside the lumpectomy cavity through a small incision in the breast.
  • The balloon is "inflated" with saline solution so that it fits snugly into the cavity. It remains inflated during the 5-day treatment.
  • A small portion of the catheter remains outside the breast; this is secured to a cushioned gauze pad to prevent movement of the catheter.

2. Treatment

  • Treatment is planned by a radiation oncologist who will take images of the MammoSite balloon catheter in the breast and determine the amount of radiation needed.
  • During therapy, the portion of the catheter that remains outside your breast is connected to a computer-controlled High Dose Rate (HDR) machine that inserts a radiation "seed" to deliver the therapy.
  • Once therapy is complete, the seed is removed, the catheter is unplugged, and you will be free to return to your normal daily activities.
  • No radiation remains inside your breast in between treatments.

3. Removal

  • After 5 days of treatment, your MammoSite balloon catheter will be removed, usually on the last day of treatment.
  • The balloon is gently removed through the same incision made to place it.

To determine if MammoSite is right for you, talk to your surgeon and radiation oncologist. This technique is usually used for older patients who are diagnosed early. Please call 718.780.3677.

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