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Tattoo and Mark-Free Breast Radiation

To target the same area for treatment from one day to the next, a common step early in the process is to tattoo patients with, on average, three or four small marks. These marks are meant to ensure proper alignment with the equipment, and to guide the therapists.

Some patients aren’t bothered by these tattoos. Others bear them proudly as a mark of their journey.

For many patients, however, these tattoos are painful, in a sensitive area, and simply unwanted.

By using advanced imaging techniques and computer algorithms, Morristown and Hackettstown Medical Centers provide improved accuracy to the target site without the need for tattoos. Instead of using permanent or semi-permanent marks to properly align patients with the equipment, the equipment itself monitors patient positioning with sub-millimeter accuracy. 

The accuracy of these measurements ensures proper positioning for every scheduled dose over the course of the treatment plan, without the need for tattoos or other marks.

The treatments were easy and painless. I’m glad they caught the cancer early.

Colleen O., AlignRT and DIBH breast cancer radiation therapy patient
Read Colleen' Story

A photo of Shelly, a 44-year-old breast cancer survivor.

Shelly's Story

Shelly, a 44-year-old mom, was shocked to find out that she had DCIS Stage 0 cancer, the stage before breast cancer becomes invasive. 

Thanks to the AlignRT® radiation system, which uses 3D camera units to monitor a patient’s skin surface in real-time and compare it to the ideal position with no loss in accuracy when compared to tattoos and marks, Shelly has completed her radiation treatments, is healthy, and as a precaution receives an MRI every six months.