According to a new research, breast cancer patients who hold their breath during radiation treatment can greatly reduce exposure to the heart.
Women with cancer in the left breast are at a higher risk of heart disease because radiation oncologists find it difficult to ensure that a sufficient dose of radiation is delivered while adequately shielding the heart from exposure.
The breath-holding technique allows doctors to monitor a patient’s breath for the position that shifts the heart out of the range of the radiation beam.
For the study which was the largest of its kind, women were followed for eight years post treatment. Eighty one women were asked to hold their breath during radiation treatment. The researchers observed that patients capable of holding their breath over the course of treatment had a 90 percent disease-free survival and a 96 percent overall survival chance.
The findings were published in the journal, Practical Radiation Oncology.