Joanne L.

San Diego, CA
Treated with SAVI – August 2009

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I was diagnosed with DCIS in May 2009. Figuring out my options was tricky because not only do I have a family history of breast cancer, I also have breast implants. The first surgeon I talked to immediately said I needed a bilateral mastectomy because of my family history. That seemed too extreme and I felt like there had to be other options. So I went to another surgeon, who was wonderful – she talked to me extensively about the various treatment options that were available.

We talked about a lumpectomy and radiation, but I didn’t like the sound of whole breast radiation because of what it could do to my body and my implants. I had heard of five-day radiation therapy, and when my surgeon told me about SAVI I thought it sounded like a great option. As a professional, I liked the fact that I could finish my treatment in such a short period of time, but I also liked that SAVI wouldn’t irradiate areas of my body that didn’t need radiation.

I feel very lucky that I was a candidate for SAVI. My sister had a bilateral mastectomy, radiation and chemotherapy, so I saw firsthand how difficult those treatments can be. I had absolutely no issues during my treatment, and other than fatigue I had no side effects. The fact that I have augmented breasts and was able to successfully treat my breast cancer without damaging the implants was just so amazing to me. For such a negative situation, I feel like I had a very positive outcome.

I’m so grateful my surgeon gave me the option to have SAVI, and I just hope that all surgeons will do the same. I know SAVI isn’t an option for everyone, but if it’s even a possibility, it should be discussed. Women have the right to be informed to make the choice that’s best for them.