SAVI Sister - Hazel W.

Hazel W.

Retired University Academic Vice President
Gainesville, FL
Treated with SAVI – July 2013

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On June 14, 2013, I went for my annual mammogram. I expected that the benign mass that had been detected 30 years earlier would remain the same. Imagine my surprise and concern at age 89 when I was asked to report for the ultrasound and biopsy. Then I learned I had early-stage cancer in my left breast.

On June 26, I had an appointment with Dr. Brian Pickens, the general surgeon who had previously performed my thyroid surgery. I knew that I was in the right hands for any follow-up treatment needed. Dr. Pickens explained that I had a Stage I cancer. He explained the options: I could do nothing and simply monitor the growth with yearly diagnostic mammograms, I could undergo a full mastectomy, or I could have a lumpectomy with radiation therapy He then explained that there was a new radiation system that I could consider called SAVI, and he referred me to Dr. Cherylle Hayes at the Cancer Center.

Following an examination, Dr. Hayes determined that I was eligible for SAVI. Using models as well as materials, she explained the process to me. As I had witnessed the chemotherapy and brutal radiation treatments experienced by my mother and husband who both died from cancer, there was no question in my mind which option to follow, SAVI.

On July 9, Dr. Pickens performed surgery to remove the cancer from my left breast. From July 15-19, I had my SAVI radiation treatments under the supervision of Dr. Hayes and her staff. I had absolutely no side effects and no pain during this time and continued my regular activities.

Due to my vigilance in having my annual mammogram, my life is back in order and I am looking forward to my cancer-free 90th birthday in January 2014—thanks to SAVI and the wonderful advice and support that I received from my medical friends and my family.