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Linda Holland

Linda H.

Sales & Marketing Consultant
San Diego, CA
Treated with SAVI – April 2009

 

I’m an active member on the the Patient Advisory Council (PAC) at Moores UCSD Cancer Center and that turned out to have a major impact on my breast cancer treatment. I was originally diagnosed at a community hospital after an area of microcalcification on the left breast was found on a routine mammogram and biopsied. It was determined that it was atypical hyperplasia bordering on ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Because of my involvement in the PAC and given that Moores UCSD Cancer Center has a NCI-Comprehensive Cancer designation, I went there for a second opinion. They determined that it was DCIS the most common type of noninvasive breast cancer or Stage 0.

After my excisional biopsy or lumpectomy, I went to see Moores’ radiation oncologist Catheryn Yashar, M.D. We discussed two options for radiation therapy: whole breast irradiation and a new form of brachytherapy called SAVI. We both felt whole breast irradiation was excessive given my diagnosis and clear margins.

Dr. Yashar was enthusiastic about SAVI, which she knew as a researcher and, subsequently, as an early adopter. I liked what Dr. Yashar said about SAVI and appreciated her experience with it. So I decided to go with that option.

When I first considered radiation, I wouldn’t have thought it possible to not have side effects — but that was the case with SAVI. I was a little tired when the five days of treatment were up, but not enough to interfere with anything I was doing. I worked and took long walks for exercise. Normally, I take road trips on my bicycle instead of walking. I held off on those for a couple of weeks to give my body more chance to heal after the surgery and radiation.

My first bike ride after my radiation therapy was a 27-mile spin through the Anza Borrego Desert to see the wildflowers. They never looked brighter.