Rebecca Wall

Elizabeth G.

Retired Teacher
Whittier, CA
Treated with SAVI – July 2010

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Four years ago, I had a lumpectomy with partial breast radiation via a balloon catheter, which at that time was a very new and innovative treatment. For me, it was a god-send because of the ease and quickness of the procedure, as opposed to whole breast radiation.

Since my encounter with early-stage breast cancer, my doctors have diligently monitored me with a yearly mammogram, ultrasound, and MRI. This May, the MRI indicated a tumor that via biopsy turned out to be early-stage cancer once again. The tumor was even smaller than the original one but it needed to come out.

I was so blessed again that my doctors were open to offering me the latest technology. Because my tumor was small and in a very early stage, I was a candidate for a second lumpectomy, followed by partial breast radiation with SAVI.

This new tumor was closer to the surface of my skin, situated right behind my areola. With the SAVI catheter, the radiation was able to be targeted exactly where it needed to be, protecting my skin and nipple from too much radiation. Also because my tumor was on the left side, it helped protect my heart and lungs.

I retired from my school district on June 30, 2010, looking forward to new things, more time, part-time work, and lots of other dreams. But first on my “to-do list” was my surgery. I had surgery on July 6, with my surgeon, Dr. Jeannie Shen, who was fantastic. SAVI was inserted July 8, and my 10 radiation treatments, performed by my radiation oncologist, Dr. Richard Pezner, were finished by July 16. I rested and re-grouped from this speed bump and I am now back to enjoying my family, my home, and my plans.

SAVI was easier to remove than the balloon catheter. The radiation treatments were painless, with no side effects. Again, I am so grateful that I was able to have this easy, quick treatment!