Answer to Question #12708 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Medical and Dental Patient Issues — Therapy - Radiation Oncology

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:


What is the range of radiation for a woman receiving radiation therapy for stage 1 breast cancer? I would like to know the average total dose to the breast and the average total dose to the whole body.


Radiation therapy for breast cancer is custom planned for each patient. The average total dose to the breast can best be answered by the medical physicist, radiation therapist, or radiation oncologist at the facility where the treatment is being performed.  

The average total dose to the whole body in Grays does not have any real meaning in terms of the radiation effects, since the dose would not be uniform to the whole body. The medical physicist involved in the treatment plan could provide the doses to critical organs such as the lungs and heart.  

Kent Lambert, CHP, FHPS

Answer posted on 6 February 2019. The information posted on this web page is intended as general reference information only. Specific facts and circumstances may affect the applicability of concepts, materials, and information described herein. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice. To the best of our knowledge, answers are correct at the time they are posted. Be advised that over time, requirements could change, new data could be made available, and Internet links could change, affecting the correctness of the answers. Answers are the professional opinions of the expert responding to each question; they do not necessarily represent the position of the Health Physics Society.