Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) therapy is an option for women with early stage breast cancer who meet a particular set of criteria. The benefit is that the radiation can be completed in 10-doses in 5 days thus allowing you to resume your normal life more quickly.
There are two hurdles standing between me and internal radiation therapy: the presence of cancer cells in the surrounding tissue/lymph nodes and having enough tissue in-front of the chest wall muscle. My tumor sits very deep and while not up against the chest wall, it is close enough to be concerning. If the surgeon removes too much margin tissue I may lose the option of internal radiation which will result in my having to have whole breast radiation which will not only require 5-6 weeks of radiation but it will force me to have a mastectomy should the cancer return (due to the breast tissue being unable to be radiated again).
My preference at age 60 is to keep my options open for the future. I would like to reserve the option of having radiation again, should I need it but my options are out of my control and frankly, down to layers of tissue.