About Hologic   |   Privacy   |   Terms   |   References   |  
© 2018 Hologic, Inc. All Rights Reserved

What is 5-Day Targeted Radiation Therapy?

Getting back to life sooner

After your cancerous lump is removed, radiation therapy may be needed. You might feel like you're in for a long haul. You remember the days when your life was pretty typical, and although it seemed like nothing much changed—it has. You're being treated for cancer.

You ask yourself: "How can I get my life back as quickly as possible?"

When your cancer is found early, your doctor can determine if 5-Day Targeted Radiation Therapy could be used following your lumpectomy. It only takes 5 days, and it targets the radiation at the area that the cancer is most likely to recur. This method of radiation therapy works from inside the lumpectomy cavity vs. whole breast radiation, which comes from the outside. Hologic offers two options for 5-Day Therapy: MammoSite targeted radiation therapy and Contura multi-lumen balloon radiation therapy. 

With either 5-Day Targeted Radiation Therapy option, a higher daily dose can be used for a shorter period of time. The therapy is given on an outpatient basis, so no hospital stay is required. Just come in twice a day for 5 days to receive treatment, with treatment periods spaced at least 6 hours apart. 

Then, you're ready to get back to your normal life!

What are the side effects of 5-Day Radiation Therapy?

Making decisions with your breast cancer treatment is not easy. Is it right for you now? Will you continue to benefit in the long run?

Clinical studies conducted with Hologic 5-Day Radiation Therapy have shown to be very promising, well-tolerated, with mild short-term side effects. Most include redness, bruising and mild breast pain—all very common side effects of breast surgery and/or radiation therapy and usually go away after a short period of time.5

5-Day Radiation Therapy with either the MammoSite device or the Contura device is delivered using a balloon catheter to specifically target your radiation. The catheter is secured with gauze to the side of your breast so that you can go about your normal activities between treatments. Many women feel little or no discomfort during insertion, treatment or catheter removal. There can be some drainage that occurs from the catheter insertion site; this is normal and should go away after a short period of time. Be sure to speak to your doctor about any questions you may have. 

How it works

5-Day Targeted Radiation Therapy streamlines your breast cancer treatment!

1. Placement


  • After the breast cancer tumor is removed (lumpectomy), a small soft balloon attached to a thin tube (catheter) is placed inside the lumpectomy cavity through a small incision in the breast.
  • The balloon is “inflated” with saline solution so that it fits snugly into the cavity. It remains inflated during the 5-Day treatment.
  • A small portion of the catheter remains outside the breast; this is secured to a cushioned gauze pad to prevent movement of the catheter.

2. Treatment

  • A radiation oncologist will take images of the balloon catheter in your breast and determine your radiation dosage.
  • During radiation therapy, the portion of the catheter that remains outside your breast is connected to a computer-controlled High Dose Rate (HDR) machine that inserts a radiation “seed” to deliver the targeted therapy.
  • Once therapy is completed, the seed is removed, the catheter is unplugged and you are free to resume life as you know it!
  • No radiation remains inside your breast between treatments.

3. Removal

  • Your balloon catheter will be removed, typically on the last day of treatment.  
  • The balloon is gently removed through the same incision made to place it.

FACT: Long-term studies have shown that for early-stage cancers, removing the cancerous tissue and a small rim of tissue surrounding it (lumpectomy), plus radiation therapy, has the same survival outcomes as total breast removal (mastectomy).24

Here are some MORE facts from a study on the initial clinical trial of the MammoSite targeted radiation therapy system:6

  • 83.3% of patients had good/excellent cosmetic results.
  • 100% of patients in the initial clinical trial would recommend the MammoSite treatment to a friend or family member.
  • 100% of patients in the initial clinical trial would have the MammoSite treatment again if they had to do it over.


The safety and effectiveness of the MammoSite Radiation Therapy System (RTS), MammoSite ML Radiation Therapy System and the Contura Applicator as a replacement for whole breast irradiation in the treatment of breast cancer has not been established.