Prone positioning therapy

What is it?

Prone positioning therapy is a unique form of radiation therapy used to treat patients with breast cancer. The purpose is to reduce radiation dose to the lungs and heart. During treatment, patients lay on their stomach in the prone position, with their breast falling away from their body. Administering treatment in the prone position further limits radiation exposure outside the treatment’s targeted area.

What should patients expect?

Prior to prone positioning therapy, patients undergo planning computed tomography (CT) scans to create their treatment plan and calculate the amount of radiation dose to the body. After the planning CT scan, a date will be given to the patient for their first treatment. The treatment will usually be given Monday through Friday in the same position each day. The patients will receive imaging during the course of treatment to make sure they are in the correction position during the treatment.

What are the side effects?

Prone positioning therapy may cause some side effects, including fatigue and mild discomfort.