Professional Quilter/Software Engineer
Fountain Hills, AZ
Treated with SAVI – January 2007
My breast cancer was discovered after a lump showed up in my annual mammogram and was biopsied. My breast surgeon, Victor Zannis, M.D., said from the beginning that I was a good candidate for brachytherapy. I was relieved. My father had received external beam radiation for lung cancer. The treatment really burned his skin and caused him severe pain. Being treated with a targeted radiation source that worked from the inside sounded much better to me.
After my lumpectomy, Dr. Zannis referred me to radiation oncologist Robert Kuske, M.D. He said Dr. Kuske was the absolute best. I agree. He’s so dedicated. At the time, Dr. Kuske was involved in early research on SAVI. He discussed all the radiation options with me, including external beam. Then he asked if I wanted to take part in the SAVI trial and showed me the device.
I could see how it was designed to give very precise therapy. I was also intrigued by the fact that SAVI would cause almost no disruption to my life. I didn’t waste much time before saying yes.
My treatment lasted a week and I worked the whole time. I had a fulltime software job and also made quilts by contract. I did both. I did feel a little rundown when the week was over but it was like getting over a cold. I didn’t do much that weekend, and then went to the office the following week, and just took it a little easy after work.
In contrast, I have a friend who had a lumpectomy and then received external beam radiation. The treatment lasted five weeks, and dominated her life. Then she was laid up for two months after that. She felt sick and could hardly move.
For a working or busy woman, SAVI is a fantastic option. You get the treatment and keep on going. The cosmetic result is also wonderful. Unless you look closely, you can’t tell I had a lumpectomy or SAVI.