BUDDY CHECK 7: The role of radiation in battling breast cancer

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- Battling breast cancer can lead to various forms of treatment.
One of the most common, being radiation.

Radiation uses energy to target a specific spot in the body and works to destroy cancer tumors.

Doctor Bevan Ly with Marshfield Clinic says all cancer cases vary depending on the patient. But, between surgery, chemotherapy or a combination of all types of treatment, radiation is almost always the final process.

While science has improved the use of radiation over the years, that doesn't mean it still doesn't stir up some concern.

"I know some people are concerned about the heart being on the left side but we have techniques to minimize that, too. When you hold your breath, that creates separation. And, we can actually measure the dose in the heart and lungs, so we know we are within a safe dose," Dr. Ly explained.

In a person's lifetime, there are certain limits to how much radiation can be received.

With the help of a dosimetrist, Dr. Ly says those levels are closely monitored.