High-energy x-rays are used to destroy cancerous cells. A radiation oncologist is a specialized doctor who helps treat breast cancer patients. External-beam radiation therapy, which uses a machine outside of the body, is the most common form of the treatment.
Intraoperative radiation involves probing the cancerous cells in the operating room. Brachytherapy occurs when radioactive sources are placed directly into the tumor. These two types of radiation are not common nor are they recommended for everyone as they are used mainly in cancers, which did not spread to the lymph nodes. Patients usually receive radiation after surgery for several weeks.