Treated with SAVI – December 2009
I was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in October 2009. My first doctor wanted to do a bilateral mastectomy, chemo and radiation – but I felt that was too extreme, especially since they caught the cancer so early. I’m also very hesitant when it comes to radiation because my mother died of radiation-induced sarcoma after treatment for breast cancer in the ‘80s.
So I went for a second opinion at UC San Diego, where Dr. Catheryn Yashar, my radiation oncologist, explained the difference between whole breast radiation and APBI with the SAVI device. Given my mother’s experience, I think I was more nervous about radiation than most women, but Dr. Yashar and her staff were wonderful and they explained everything beautifully. Fortunately, I was good candidate for APBI – I chose SAVI because I wanted the least amount of radiation as possible. The length of the treatment was a big plus, too. If you have the option to choose between 6 weeks or 5 days, why wouldn’t you choose the shorter treatment?
My experience during treatment was wonderful. The device didn’t hurt going in or coming out. I did have some discomfort during the week, so I took medication to help me sleep at night. Afterwards, I had a rash but otherwise I didn’t have any side effects from the treatment, not even fatigue. The whole thing was a breeze.
I also had a wonderful experience meeting other women who received treatment with SAVI at UCSD at the hospital’s very first SAVI Sisters support group meeting in November 2010. Everyone was so positive and open, and it was wonderful to be able to talk with other women who went through the same thing.