London - Thousands of breast cancer sufferers could be spared weeks of gruelling radiotherapy after scientists discovered a new targeted approach is just as effective.
The less aggressive method focuses on the tumour rather than the whole breast and means a course of treatment can be completed in five days rather than up to six weeks.
In addition, it is likely to have fewer side effects such as scarring, sensitivity and a change in breast appearance.
The procedure is given after a tumour is surgically removed and is designed to eradicate all remaining cancer cells to ensure it does not return.
The traditional technique involves daily radiotherapy sessions in hospital five days a week for between three and six weeks, something most patients describe as a huge burden.