For Immediate Release July 05, 2024

Rashmi Benda, MD, is shown in the Requard Radiation Center in the Cancer Center at UM Shore Regional Health.

Rashmi Benda, MD, is shown in Requard Radiation Center in the Cancer Center at UM Shore Regional Health.

The Cancer Center at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is now offering easier, shorter radiation treatment for patients with early-stage breast cancer. 

Known as Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI), this course of treatment is limited to the immediate area surrounding the tumor and minimizes radiation exposure to the rest of the breast, skin, ribs, lungs and heart. UM Shore Regional Health is a member organization of University of Maryland Medical System.

"Along with more precise targeting of the immediate area surrounding the original tumor, a significant advantage of APBI is that it is accomplished in five sessions over five treatment days, as opposed to 15 to 20 sessions over several weeks," said Rashmi Benda, MD, Medical Director of the Cancer Center’s Requard Radiation Oncology Center. "In addition, patients experience little to no pain, swelling or skin redness with the treatment."

APBI treatments begin after the patient’s lumpectomy and a CT scan that pinpoints the tumor site for the radiation oncology team. In an outpatient procedure, tiny gold markers are placed in the breast. After a second CT scan, a treatment plan is generated, and the patient returns for five treatments. The gold markers are tracked during each treatment, allowing radiation to focus on a smaller volume of breast tissue.

Rebecca Bartholow of Kent Island completed APBI treatment in early July of 2023. "I received five treatments that lasted about an hour, with a day in between each,” she said. "The experience was awesome – it went great! Other than being a little tired, I felt really good. I couldn’t have been happier." 

APBI has been shown to be effective compared with traditional longer and more intensive treatment regimens. "We are pleased to offer this innovative and beneficial treatment to our patients in the Shore community," said Dr. Benda.

A video featuring Rebecca Bartholow and Dr. Benda discussing APBI can be found on the UM Shore Regional Health YouTube Channel,