[ RadSafe ] Energies used in Breast Irradiation

Corey Clift corey.clift at gmail.com
Mon Jan 24 17:27:52 CST 2011

More than likely the treatment uses two different beams with two
different photon spectra that each relatively broad.  It should be 6MV
and 18MV not MeV.  This unit is used as a nominal beam quality
specifier for photon therapy beams.  Sometimes we can take the
effective energy to be the nominal quality divided by three.  The most
important fact is that using a high energy allows us to spare the skin
and give a homogeneous dose distribution.  There is a wealth of
literature about this.

On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 3:44 PM, Rees, Brian G <brees at lanl.gov> wrote:
> I have a friend that had Milk Duct In Situ Carcinoma (breast cancer), she had a lumpectomy and is now going to have breast irradiation.  Since I had the opportunity for her to ask, I had her ask about the treatment.  The energy of the x-rays will be 6 and 18 Mev, these seem awfully high since the probability of interaction is pretty low for an 18 Mev x-ray in tissue... can somebody help me to understand this?  They also mentioned a "boost" of 10 Gy, what does that refer to? ("whole breast dose is reached at 4256 cGy, boost delivers an additional 1000 cGy")
> Thanks,
> Brian Rees, CHP, RRPT
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Corey Clift, M.S.

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