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Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer

Radiation therapy is recommended for most breast cancer patients, in combination with surgery and / or chemotherapy, including:

  • Patients undergoing breast conservation therapy 
  • Patients who have had a mastectomy

Our radiation oncologists are all breast cancer specialists who deliver expert care in a compassionate and caring environment.

Benefits of Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer

Radiation therapy, when performed at an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center such as UC San Diego Health, is highly effective at:

  • Killing cancer cells
  • Preventing the chance of a local recurrence

For these reasons and others, radiation therapy is a key component of cancer care that can often help improve patient survival.

For more about radiation therapy at UC San Diego Health, see Radiation Oncology.

Types of Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer

Patients at UC San Diego Health benefit by having a team of doctors who specialize in treating breast cancer. This means our radiation oncologists can offer you the most advanced and effective radiation therapies for your breast cancer, including:

  • Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), which uses in-room imaging to improve the accuracy of radiation delivery
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which is an advanced radiotherapy planning and delivery approach
  • Brachytherapy, which is internal radiation, often used in conjunction with external beam radiotherapy. Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) is a type of brachytherapy used to treat breast cancer.
  • Proton therapy, a type of radiosurgery that uses protons, instead of photons or electrons, to precisely kill cancer cells

No cancer center in San Diego offers more radiotherapy approaches for targeting your cancer, while protecting healthy tissue. This is why we are a regional referral center for radiation therapy services.

For more about these technologies, see Types of Radiation Therapy.

Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI) 

Our radiation oncologists are national leaders in accelerated partial breast irradiation, which uses high doses of an implanted brachytherapy source to target cancer.

APBI brachytherapy is an attractive alternative to whole breast irradiation in patients with early stage estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer. It reduces treatment time and the exposure of healthy tissue to radiation. Your medical team will let you know if APBI is recommended as part of your treatment plan.

A SAVI (Strut-Adjusted Volume Implant) brachytherapy treatment

A strut-adjusted volume implant (SAVI) partial breast brachytherapy treatment for breast cancer. UC San Diego Health was the second center in the world to offer SAVI to patients.

Research and Clinical Trials

Our radiation oncologists are also faculty members at UC San Diego School of Medicine, working on new and innovative ways to beat cancer and translate their discoveries into helping people live longer better lives. 

Appointments & Referrals

Radiation Oncology Locations

La Jolla


Chula Vista

4S Ranch

  • 16918 Dove Canyon Rd, Ste 103

Patient Guide

Radiation Oncology Patient Handbook 

Radiation Oncology Patient Handbook Spanish 

Patient Education

Learn more about these topics at our Health Library: