Prone Breast Radiation

Traditionally, a patient receiving breast radiation will be treated while she is lying on her back, called the “supine” position. If the patient is turned and is lying on her belly for treatment, this is called the “prone” position.  Your radiation oncologist will determine if your treatment should be given supine or prone.

Prone Breast Radiation

How does Prone Breast Radiation work?

You will be placed on a soft, comfortable, cushioned device called a prone breast board. The untreated breast is placed in a comfortable position directly on the prone breast board. There is an opening in the board that allows the breast that will be receiving radiation to pass through and hang freely. This position allows gravity to pull the treated breast away from the chest wall so that less heart and lung receive radiation.


Why should prone breast radiation be considered?

Prone breast radiation has been shown through numerous research studies to reduce lung dose for right and left side breast cancer, and heart dose for left side breast cancer, as compared to treatment in the supine position. This difference is greatest for women with a larger breast size.


Should all women get prone breast treatment?

Prone breast radiation will provide a reduction in heart and lung dose for most patients, but not for all. For women with smaller breast size, prone positioning is less likely to provide a benefit as compared to supine positioning, and may make treatment setup more difficult. Your Radiation Oncologist will provide an assessment as to what treatment position will benefit you most prior to treatment.


Are the side effects different from supine treatment?

Side effects during treatment are similar regardless of treatment position. Prone breast treatment has the potential to reduce side effects from radiation to the lungs and heart that can occur years after your radiation is complete.


Special Thanks

The SOMC Cancer Center would like to thank the Hope Guild for their generous donation to purchase the Bionix® Prone Breast System for prone breast radiation treatment.


Who do you call if you have questions?

Call the SOMC Cancer Center at (740) 356-7490 or toll free 1-888-722-8787, or e-mail us if you have questions.