Deep Inspiration Breath Hold
Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (also known as DIBH) is a simple and effective technique that is used during radiotherapy treatment to cancer in the breast or chest wall.
Radiotherapy uses high energy beams to destroy cancer cells and it’s important to protect nearby organs such as your heart, lungs and liver from exposure to this radiation to prevent health problems years later.
Many studies have shown that DIBH can reduce radiation exposure to the heart. At GenesisCare, we’ve been using this for all patients who have breast cancer treatment to their left-side (the same side as your heart). Now there’s evidence to show that DIBH also gives important protection to the lungs and liver during radiotherapy on the right side.
At GenesisCare, we aim to offer the latest treatments to every patient that are proven to make a difference. That’s why we’re now offering DIBH to certain patients who are receiving right-sided breast cancer radiotherapy and would benefit from this.
If your oncologist believes you’ll benefit from DIBH, they’ll explain this to you when your radiotherapy treatment is planned.
Enquire now about DIBH
Your cancer specialist can refer you for a consultation. We are recognised by all major insurers and we provide free transport from anywhere in the UK, including the Channel Islands.
What is Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH)?
Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) is a combination of a breathing technique with specialist radiotherapy and CT scanning equipment that monitors tiny movements. This equipment is available at every GenesisCare centre and our teams are experts at using it.
How does DIBH work?
- Before your radiotherapy, you’ll have a CT scan. Your radiographer will ask you to take a deep breath, and as you do this, your lungs expand and your heart and liver are moved away from the treatment target area in your breast or chest wall.
- We then take a detailed CT scan to see exactly where your heart, lungs and liver are in this position and use it to plan where the radiation dose will be targeted.
- On the day of each treatment session, your radiographers will use this CT scan and our specialised equipment to make sure that you are lined up precisely in position before starting your radiotherapy.
- During each treatment, you take a deep breath and hold it. The radiation beam is delivered while you’re holding your breath.
- You need to be able to hold your breath for 20 seconds a couple of times during your treatment session.
- You’re in control with DIBH, radiation is only delivered when you’re completely still. If for any reason you move slightly out of position or you release your breath, the radiation beam pauses automatically.
Try it now. If you can hold your breath for 20 seconds, our specialised equipment can do the rest. Most patients find it easy to do and you’ll be given some training and a chance to practice beforehand.