4 DignityHealth.org/Bakersfield | Fall 2019 Many women with early-stage breast cancer have the option to choose a breast-sparing surgery called a lumpectomy. Most of these women will then have at least six weeks of daily radiation treatments. But getting to a cancer center every day for six weeks to get that radiation can sometimes be difficult for women. So what if a woman could have her surgery and radiation at the same time instead? That’s one of the big advantages of intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT). This specialized procedure is now available in Bakersfield at Dignity Health – Mercy Hospital Southwest. “IORT is an alternative to traditional radiation for certain women who choose a lumpectomy,” says Stuti Tambar, MD, a breast surgical oncologist at Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center (CBCC). “It is a one-time treatment given at the time of the breast surgery in the operating room,” she says. “It takes about 20 to 40 minutes. And once it’s finished, you will not need any more radiation.” TWO -in- ONE cancer treatment Some breast cancer patients can have surgery and radiation at the same time Getting to a cancer center every day for six weeks to receive radiation treatment can be difficult for women.