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Simple But Ingenious New way to Protect Women with Breast Cancer from the Risks of Radiotherapy

A new radiotherapy technique that protects women with breast cancer from life-threatening side-effects could soon be available to more patients.

The technique, called deep inspiration breath hold, essentially means patients take a deep breath and hold it just before each radiotherapy dose is delivered.

This protects the heart from damage caused by the radiation.

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More than 80 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer will have radiotherapy to kill off cancer cells as part of their treatment.

However, while it is a highly effective treatment, radiotherapy — which uses beams of radiation to damage the DNA of cancer cells, causing them to die — can raise a woman’s risk of heart attack.

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