Breast cancer is the most common malignant tumour in women. Case rates have increased in the past couple of decades, while death rates have been consistently decreasing as a result of the earlier detection and more effective treatment of the disease. The treatment of breast cancer combines surgery, radiotherapy and systemic therapy.
Radiotherapy is a local treatment with various indications, depending on surgery, histology and spread of the disease. The goal of radiotherapy in adjuvant therapy is to reduce local and regional recurrence and to improve overall survival. In breast cancer conservative therapy, the entire surviving breast tissue needs to be irradiated after the resection of the tumour. In mastectomy, the need for radiotherapy depends on the involvement of regional lymph nodes, as well as on the pre-treatment clinical spread of the tumour in case neoadjuvant systemic therapy is used.
The aim of this literature review is to present evidence-based indications for breast cancer radiotherapy, to describe recent treatments under investigation, as well as to point out cases where radiotherapy should not be applied as all treatments have side effects.Evidence-based radiotherapy for the treatment of breast cancer radiotherapy, to describe recent treatments under investigation, as well as to point out cases where radiotherapy should not be applied as all treatments have side effects.