[ RadSafe ] Energies used in Breast Irradiation

Savitz, Kenneth R (1UQ) savitzkr at y12.doe.gov
Tue Jan 25 07:11:29 CST 2011

I am pretty sure that this treatment is electrons and not photons - a very short range in tissue.  A scattering foil (usually copper) is placed in front of the target to generate the electrons from the x-rays coming off of the primary target. Treatment with x-rays at those energies in that area could be disastrous.

Ken Savitz

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Rees, Brian G
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 3:45 PM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Energies used in Breast Irradiation

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")

Brian Rees, CHP, RRPT
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