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Electron-based IntraOperative Radiation Therapy

Leading the way in breast cancer

Avera is one of 10 cancer centers in the U.S. using Electron-based IntraOperative 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.

Breast Patient Navigator

Our certified breast patient navigator 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.

Contact a Breast Navigator

Physician Information

Avera Comprehensive Breast Care

Learn about our comprehensive breast program

How does it work?

IORT 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 the 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?

IORT is an option for women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer who would like to conserve their breast (lumpectomy).

Delivery of IORT can either shorten the course of whole breast radiation therapy or eliminate the need for additional radiation therapy after surgery.

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 IORT, 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 IORT can shorten the treatment cycle following surgery 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 IORT in early stage breast cancer patients indicate a reduction in skin toxicity.

IORT Videos

How IORT Works

Benefits of IORT

Terry Pearman, IORT Patient

Jayne Rosenboom, IORT Patient

Patient Experience

"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.