Treated with SAVI – October 2010
When I was first diagnosed, my surgeon, Dr. Carrie Cashman, discussed whole breast radiation and the SAVI treatment option with me. After my lumpectomy, it looked like I was a good candidate for SAVI, which I was happy about because I was not looking forward to whole breast radiation.
We have a weekend home at a lake, and six weeks of treatment would have meant no fishing, no boating, no four-wheeling. It would have been a huge inconvenience. Plus, the side effects – like skin rashes or fatigue – seemed to be much more severe. I’m a red-head and have very sensitive skin, so I just pictured myself getting burned and blistered.
I liked that SAVI would radiate less healthy tissue, especially because my cavity was very close to the chest wall. The length of treatment was also appealing – five days and I’m done.
I was fortunate to be able to take medical leave during the treatment, but I didn’t have any pain or side effects or even fatigue during the five days of radiation. Looking back, the greatest benefit SAVI offered me was the time factor. It shortened my leave absence significantly, and the week after I finished treatment I was right back at work.
The staff at Banner Desert Medical Center was outstanding, including my radiation oncologist Dr. Taylor. They were all gentle and compassionate, and I felt totally comfortable the whole time. I would highly recommend SAVI if the option is available.