Kay L.

Real Estate Sales
Sanibel, FL
Treated with SAVI – March 2008

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My cancer was diagnosed through a regular yearly mammogram. Because of my strong family history of breast cancer – my mother, grandmother and aunt all passed away from the disease – I faithfully get my screening mammogram every year. When I received the diagnosis, it was difficult to focus on my options. The love of my life had been diagnosed with both throat cancer and male breast cancer just 10 months before and I was focused on taking care of him.

At first, my surgeon suggested a bilateral mastectomy – again, due to my strong family history – but I said no. I knew there had to be other options, so I started researching. I learned about a course of treatment that involved a lumpectomy, followed by five days of radiation with a balloon. When I mentioned that to my surgeon, he said he had something even better – the SAVI applicator.

He said it would still be just five days of treatment, but that SAVI could spare more healthy tissue, which would mean fewer side effects. Completing treatment in five days was so appealing to me, and I saw the drastic side effects of whole breast radiation when my mother went through it – it basically looked like she had a severe sunburn on her chest. So my response was “Why wouldn’t I do SAVI?”

And I’m so glad I did it. I had absolutely no side effects. Figuring out how to sleep comfortably while the device was in my breast was a little challenging, but I had no pain at all. I never took any pain pills, even right after the surgery. And two weeks to the day after I finished treatment, I was able to go back to my favorite hobby and part-time job of belly dancing. I don’t think I could have returned to dancing that quickly without SAVI.

I just want women to know about their treatment choices. I have a friend who had a mastectomy because that’s what everyone told her to do, but now she says she wishes she had taken the time to do more research. I feel very fortunate that I was a candidate for SAVI and to have the outcome that I did.