Faculty Advisor(s)

Elaine Halesey



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When treating breast cancer patients with radiation therapy, it is important to find treatment techniques that reduce the dose to organs at risk without compromising the target tumor volume. Due to advances in cancer diagnosis, patients are diagnosed and treated earlier causing them to live longer. However, these patients are at greater risk for developing long-term complications from treatment, specifically cardiac toxicity and cardiac diseases. Research was evaluated regarding the best treatment position for breast cancer patients to reduce the dose to organs at risk, focusing on the dose to the heart. Every breast cancer patient varies in breast anatomy, tumor biology, tumor location, and structures being treated. Due to variation, positioning for breast cancer treatment should be determined on a patient-by-patient basis. Radiation dose to the heart should be of main concern and minimized as much as possible to reduce the chance of long-term treatment complications. Respiratory gating techniques such as deep inspiration breath-hold can be employed to further reduce radiation dose to organs at risk.

Publication Date


Document Type



Medical Imaging


breast cancer, radiation therapy, prone position, supine position, prone crawl position


Medicine and Health Sciences

Supine vs. Prone Positioning for Breast Radiation