Dr. Anthony Fyles

Now hold your breath and count to 15….

Dr. Anthony FylesSometimes the simplest solutions are the best, and that wisdom is not lost on the clinical and research staff at The Princess Margaret.

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is a world leader in radiation treatment for cancer, and is continually raising the bar in terms of the safety, precision, and effectiveness of this therapy.

Patients receiving radiation following a lumpectomy in their left breast often have a small portion of their heart (including one of the coronary arteries) within the radiation field.

Dr. Anthony Fyles and his team can determine which patients are at risk of this radiation exposure to their heart, and have shown that if these patients hold their breath while the radiation is delivered, their heart is largely pushed out of the radiation field. The team has shown that this breath-hold technique reduces radiation doses to the heart by 21 to 53 percent and to the coronary artery by 52 to 84 percent. Patients tolerate the technique very well and report no discomfort. This is now standard procedure for women with left-sided cancers.

Heart in field of radiation Heart in field of radiation with breath held