When a second cancer is found in a breast that was already treated with lumpectomy followed by radiation to the whole breast, the standard treatment is a mastectomy. Very few studies have been done to find out if breast conservation therapy (repeat lumpectomy and re-irradiation to part of the breast) can be used as an alternative to mastectomy.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the side effects of partial breast re-irradiation given after a lumpectomy. The lumpectomy will be done to remove the breast cancer and a limited amount of surrounding normal breast tissue. Following the surgery, patients will receive three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) to treat only the area in the breast where the lumpectomy was performed. 3D-CRT tries to lower the amount of radiation that normal tissues receive, while still delivering the desired amount of radiation to the cancer and to areas that may contain cancer cells.