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Invited Commentary
January 2016

Postmastectomy Radiation Therapy and Breast Reconstruction—Marching Forward Together or Apart?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Radiation Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(1):102-103. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.3826

Postmastectomy radiation therapy (PMRT) and immediate reconstruction each play important roles in the treatment of patients with breast cancer. Giving PMRT increases cure rates for subgroups with substantial risks of local-regional recurrence.1 Many individuals wish to have immediate breast reconstruction to reduce the psychological and social consequences of mastectomy. However, PMRT increases the risks of complications and poor cosmetic results after breast reconstruction. Immediate reconstruction limits the technical approaches available for delivering PMRT, potentially resulting in increased heart and lung doses. Improvements in surgical and radiation techniques over time have decreased but not entirely eliminated these problems.2,3

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