Esophageal Cancer a Consideration in Breast CancerRadiotherapy

Breast cancer radiation protocols may put patients at risk for esophageal cancer, especially those whose radiotherapy includes the lymph nodes, concluded an Irish study published October 7, 2021, in Radiotherapy and Oncology.

“A team led by Dr. Frances Duane from St. Luke’s Hospital in Dublin found that between 2010 and 2020, the average dose to the esophagus from partial breast and breast/chest wall radiation therapy regimens were usually less than 2 Gy [Grays], meaning “very small” radiation risk. However, an average esophagus dose of 11.4 Gy for radiotherapy with lymph nodes may nearly double cancer risk,” reported Allegretto.

“Consideration of oesophageal (sic) exposure during nodal radiotherapy planning may reduce the risks of radiation-related oesophageal (sic) cancer for women irradiated today,” recommended Duane, et. al.


Frances K. Duane, Amanda Kerr, Zhe Wang, Sarah C Darby, Georgios Ntentas, Marianne C. Aznar, Carolyn W. Taylor. Exposure of the oesophagus (sic) in breast cancer radiotherapy: A systematic review of oesophagus (sic) doses published 2010-2020. Radiotherapy and Oncology. Available online 7 October 2021, at Accessed October 18, 2021.

Allegretto, Amerigo. Consider the esophagus when it comes to breast cancer radiotherapy. October 11, 2021, at Accessed October 18, 2021.

A pictographic representation of esophageal cancer.