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Karen T.

Hospital Volunteer
Scottsdale, AZ
Treated with SAVI – April 2008

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After I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was fortunate to find an amazing surgeon, Dr. Nedra Harrison, who I trusted and felt very comfortable with. She was very instrumental in me pursuing brachytherapy as I had never heard of a 5-day radiation therapy option. She recommended radiation oncologists in the area who were performing brachytherapy and spoke highly of the option and the technology.

I’m grateful SAVI was available. Without it, whole breast radiation might have been my only option because my cavity was too elliptical in shape for balloon brachytherapy. I knew partial breast radiation was the way I wanted to go, especially when I learned that most recurrences happen within a centimeter of the tumor bed. To me, it didn’t make sense to risk the potential damage to other organs and the skin if brachytherapy was an option. Plus, five days is a whole lot better than six weeks. I lived about 35 miles from my doctors at the time, but I had such a great team of physicians that I didn’t want to switch. Six weeks of commuting that distance would have been a huge burden.

My experience with SAVI was very positive. I had no side effects and my energy level was great the entire week of the radiation treatments. I had a little discomfort when it was inserted, but nothing major. I was very nervous that the removal would be painful, but my amazing radiation oncologist, Dr. Robert Kuske, was talking to me the whole time and before I knew it, the device was out – no pain whatsoever!

Since then, I’ve been very passionate about educating other women about the availability of brachytherapy. It’s such an amazing option – the more women that know about it, the better!