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Rita Z.

Physical Therapy Assistant
Wellington, FL
Treated with SAVI – November 2010

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A couple months before I was diagnosed, I found a lump on the side of my right breast. I have fibrocystic breasts, so I figured that’s all it was. I don’t have any history of breast cancer in my family. My mother just turned 90 years old. I’m healthy, I exercise and I don’t smoke, so I was totally shocked and scared when I was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in October 2010.

Once I got all my test results and knew where I stood, I felt better emotionally. Right away, my surgeon told me I was a candidate for SAVI. I had to go in for a second surgery to make sure the margins were clear, and three days later the SAVI device was inserted. It’s funny, I hadn’t heard of five day radiation or SAVI before, but right after my first surgery I saw a story about it on “The Doctors.”

As a physical therapy assistant, I work with a lot of women who have lymphedema. I’ve seen firsthand what radiation can do to your body, and I was very concerned about that. I was relieved that SAVI was available. For me, the best part about SAVI was that it localized the radiation and minimized the involvement of other areas, like my skin or lungs.

It’s also such an easy treatment – five days and you’re done. It didn’t hurt at all going in or coming out. I didn’t have any pain during the treatments, either. I was able to carry on with all my normal activities. I went to work, I cooked, I did everything I needed to do that week. The only thing I didn’t do was go to the gym. I think SAVI is an amazing technology that is making it easier for women to get the radiation they need.