A novel technique for setting up tangential fields is described. The technique uses a simple device (Breast Aligner) which attaches to the collimator of the treatment unit. The function of the Breast Aligner is similar to conventional front and back pointers except that the beam edge rather than central ray is defined. By delineating beam entrance and exit points at the posterior field edge, the device greatly simplifies and expedites setup, and enhances precision of port alignment. Additional advantageous features include: (a) the ability to compensate for small inadvertent variations from the initial set-up position or for patient movement between the set-up of opposing ports, (b) the ability to visually check port alignment in the treatment position immediately before irradiation, and (c) decreased chance of human and equipment error by eliminating the need for measurements and calculations at the time of treatment. Our method can be used for SSD or SAD techniques and, with minor adjustment, is applicable for establishment of coplanar cephalad field borders as required at the junction of a supraclavicular field. © 1991.