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SAVI Sister - Dorothy W.

Dorothy W.

Retired
Lees Summit, MO
Treated with SAVI – March 2015

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I love to share my experience with others who are in the battle with breast cancer. I went to a support group as soon as I was diagnosed, but was prior to my lumpectomy surgery. I met a woman who had just completed treatment with SAVI and this was a blessing. She was 100% positive about her experience and this was very reassuring to me and helped me have a better attitude as I went through my ordeal.

I took a 3-D mammogram in December 2014, which showed a possible problem spot. The biopsy and lab results indicated stage 1 breast cancer. Because the cancer was detected early, my options were more appealing. I had a lumpectomy and the following week was ready to begin SAVI brachytherapy.

I had a great experience with my physicians and SAVI was highly recommended by both my surgeon, Dr. Tammy Neblock and my radiation oncologist, Dr. Susan Herzberg. I did not know anything about SAVI brachy and they were wonderful in explaining this option, including showing me a sample SAVI device and describing the procedure step-by-step.

The option of 6 weeks of radiation was not at all appealing to me as I was afraid of the possible complications from this type of extended radiation. I have an autoimmune condition called scleroderma that external radiation could affect or make worse. So, the internal targeted radiation that is completed in 5 days, twice a day is more advantageous than the alternative traditional 6 weeks of external radiation.

I was nervous because I have a low tolerance of pain and discomfort but all my fears went out the window. The insertion and removal of the device was quite tolerable and did not hurt at all. I was surrounded by medical staff who were so caring and comforting that I did not mind at all going in for my treatments and the entire 5-day treatment process went well and the time passed by swiftly. I was able to relax during the treatments and would probably have taken a nap, but the actual radiation treatments were over in about 10 minutes.

I consider SAVI the gold standard in breast cancer radiation treatment and highly recommend SAVI to anyone who is presented with this option. I am so thankful that my breast cancer was diagnosed early and that I was a candidate for SAVI. I was happy to learn that I had this option and so grateful that such progress has been made in breast cancer treatment. I feel wonderful today and hope and pray that more women are diagnosed early and take advantage of SAVI treatment options.