SAVI Sister - Sheila C.

Sheila C.

Retired Registered Nurse
Hobe Sound, FL
Treated with SAVI – June 2014

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I had my annual mammogram in February 2014 and received a call to come back for an ultrasound. I was then referred to a breast specialist for further exam and a biopsy. Dr. Denise Sanderson, my surgeon, is a breast specialist and put my husband and me at ease when she opened the exam room door. She said, “This is very small, caught early…you will not need chemo…It is a bump in the road of life.” She did the biopsy in her office. It was invasive lobular carcinoma as she suspected. She performed a lumpectomy and removed it. There was no involvement with my lymph nodes.

Dr. Sanderson discussed my options, which included whole breast radiation or SAVI partial breast radiation. She recommended that I take an estrogen blocker following radiation treatment to further reduce my risk of recurrence. She then referred me to South Florida Radiation Oncology in Jupiter, Florida.

My radiation oncologist was Dr. Eugene Shieh. He spent a great deal of time with us going over the ‘Standard of Care’ (30 treatments over 6 weeks) and the SAVI procedure (10 treatments over 5 days). He showed us the SAVI device and explained everything in detail. He was excellent.

I had never heard of SAVI before, but I really liked the benefits: Getting treatments done quickly and how it only targets the affected area so there’s less radiation exposure to other areas of the body.

I felt fine during my week of treatment with occasional twinges of discomfort. I found it difficult to sleep because I usually sleep on my left side. The bandage was bulky and it limited what I wore, but I was very happy to “lay low” and just concentrate on my treatment. Everyone at SFRO was wonderful, efficient, compassionate, kind and professional. I would definitely recommend SAVI to anyone who will listen.

I had 35 mammograms since the time I turned 40 and before my diagnosis, I never gave them a second thought. The technology available today is what found my cancer way before anyone would ever feel it. I will never complain about the machine “squishing my breasts” again!