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How MammoSite® Therapy Works

How MammoSite® Therapy Works

If you have any type of cancer and live in Texas, you have access to one of the best treatment centers in the state — Choice Cancer Care. We are a network of five independent, physician-owned cancer care centers, which means you get the highest quality care from the most experienced and skilled physicians who use the latest technology and evidenced-based treatments. 

It also means you won’t get lost in the shuffle of bureaucratic red tape at a bustling mega hospital. We specialize in cancer and prioritize our patients. We come alongside you during your cancer journey and support you every step along the way.

Here, we’re highlighting an example of one of our advanced treatments for breast cancerMammoSite® targeted radiation therapy, a type of brachytherapy. Here’s how it works.

Internal vs. external radiation therapy

You may know that radiation is a standard treatment for many types of cancer, including breast cancer, and here’s why.

The goal of all cancer treatments is to eradicate the cancer and prohibit it from returning. Radiation is very effective at achieving that goal because its powerful beams of energy destroy cancerous cells, damaging them beyond repair. This means they can’t regrow. Unfortunately, most radiation treatments destroy healthy tissue as well.

External radiation delivery systems, such as Gamma Knife®, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), and proton therapies, deliver radiation from an external machine. The X-rays penetrate your tissues and target specific internal cancerous areas.

Internal radiation delivers the therapy from the inside at the source of the cancerous tissue. MammoSite therapy is an example of internal radiation.

How MammoSite therapy works

MammoSite therapy is administered after a lumpectomy and takes place in three steps.


We start by making a very small incision in your breast just large enough for us to insert a deflated MammoSite balloon at the end of a slender catheter. We guide the balloon to the palace where we removed the cancerous lump, which is now an empty cavity. 

Once in place, we fill the balloon with a saline solution so it fills the contours of the cavity. The catheter stays in, but we shorten it so it’s just a stub covered by gauze. You shouldn’t experience any pain or discomfort with the placement.


Internal MammoSite therapy takes place over a five-day period, and you need a dose twice a day during that time. 

Treatment is simple: We hook your catheter to a machine that delivers computer-controlled doses of radiation by sending a small “seed” through the catheter. That seed emits the precise dose of radiation for a precise amount of time (typically around 30 minutes), and then we remove it. This means you have no radiation in your body between treatments.


Once your five-day treatment has ended, we remove the catheter and the MammoSite balloon. We close the incision and your treatment is complete.

Advantages of MammoSite therapy

There are several benefits associated with MammoSite therapy, including:

Perhaps the best reason to consider MammoSite therapy is that its success rate exceeds 83%. If those sound like good odds to you, we agree. 

To find out if you’re a good candidate for this less-destructive, very effective radiation delivery system, schedule a consultation at any of our cancer centers in Plano, Lewisville, Irving, Southlake, or Decatur, Texas. Book online or call our friendly staff today.

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