Breast Health Navigator
Our certified health navigators will help guide you through initial detection and diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care. Your navigator will be your go-to source when you have questions about your treatment options and care.
Avera Comprehensive Breast Care
Learn about our comprehensive breast program
IntraOperative Electron Radiation Therapy
Leading the way in breast cancer
Avera is one of 10 cancer centers in the U.S. using IntraOperative Electron Radiation Therapy. We can treat the tumor during surgery, which may reduce or eliminate the need for radiation afterwards. Best of all, you can feel and look like yourself again sooner.
How does it work?
IOeRT is done at the same time as a lumpectomy, a procedure that removes the tumor and some of the surrounding breast tissue. The radiation oncologist then directs five times the normal radiation dose directly to the area where the tumor used to be. Doing this treatment during surgery provides a visual of the tumor site and allows more precise treatment.
Is this treatment for you?
IOeRT is an option for people diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. It can be an alternative to a mastectomy, which is removal of the total breast.
What are the benefits?
This treatment is more precise and can also decrease radiation treatment after surgery, saving time and money on travel to and from daily sessions.
- Immediate Results
With IOeRT, a high dose of electron-based radiation is delivered in minutes during surgery. This immediate treatment of tumor site helps kill cancer cells before they can spread.
- Fewer Treatments
A lumpectomy typically is accompanied by six to seven weeks of daily radiation treatments after surgery. A lumpectomy paired with IOeRT can shorten the treatment cycle following surgery by 50 percent so you can start feeling like yourself again sooner.
- Fewer Side Effects
Direct treatment to the tumor site means less damage to healthy tissue. European trials using IOeRT in early stage breast cancer patients indicate a reduction in skin toxicity.
How IOeRT Works
Benefits of IOeRT
Terry Pearman, IOeRT Patient
"Within less than a year after my surgery, it would have taken an experienced person a close examination to know that I had breast surgery at all. I was just so amazed that this could be done in a way that every time I look in the mirror I didn’t have to think about the surgery. I’m so thankful that I was able to participate and that Dr. Julie Reiland was able to do that for me. It was a far different experience than I expected to have, and a far different outcome than I expected to have." – Kathy Anderson, Estherville, Iowa
Read about other radiation therapy treatments for cancer patients.