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Keller L, Cohen R, Sopka DM, Li T, Li L, Anderson PR, Fowble BL, Freedman GM
Effect of Bra Use during Radiotherapy for Large-Breasted Women: Acute Toxicity and Treated Heart and Lung Volumes
Pract Radiat Oncol (2013) 3:9-15.
Abstract
Large breast size presents special problems during radiation simulation, planning and patient treatment, including increased skin toxicity, in women undergoing breast-conserving surgery and radiotherapy (BCT). We report our experience using a bra during radiation in large-breasted women and its effect on acute toxicity and heart and lung dosimetry. From 2001 to 2006, 246 consecutive large-breasted women (bra size >/= 38 and/or >/= D cup) were treated with BCT using either 3D conformal (3D-CRT) or Intensity Modulated Radiation (IMRT). In 58 cases, at the physicians' discretion, a custom-fit bra was used during simulation and treatment. Endpoints were acute radiation dermatitis, and dosimetric comparison of heart and lung volumes in a subgroup of 12 left-sided breast cancer patients planned with and without a bra. The majority of acute skin toxicities were grade 2 and were experienced by 90% of patients in a bra compared to 70% of patients not in a bra (p=0.003). On multivariate analysis significant predictors of grade 2/3 skin toxicity included 3D-CRT instead of IMRT (OR=3.9, 95% CI:1.8-8.5) and the use of a bra (OR=5.5, 95% CI:1.6-18.8). For left-sided patients, use of a bra was associated with a volume of heart in the treatment fields decreased by 63.4% (p=0.002), a volume of left lung decreased by 18.5% (p=0.25), and chest wall separation decreased by a mean of 1 cm (p=0.03). The use of a bra to augment breast shape and position in large-breasted women is an alternative to prone positioning and associated with reduced chest wall separation and reduced heart volume within the treatment field.
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Publication Date: 2013-01-01.
PMCID: PMC3580873
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