Victoria S.

Retired Early Childhood Teacher
New York, NY
Treated with SAVI – November 2012

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I went for my annual screening and there was a change in my mammogram. I had a sonogram showing irregular borders, had a needle biopsy and found early-stage breast cancer.

My SAVI experience began at the onset of Hurricane Sandy.

Dr. Carolyn Raia, at the breast center at Staten Island University Hospital was the physician who did my needle biopsy and found the cancer. She was wonderful and supportive. Dr. Cynara Coomer, my surgeon who is also at the breast center, is very much into breast saving techniques, so she recommended the SAVI to me, though I had never heard of it.

In learning about the benefits of SAVI, I was glad to find that I was a candidate. Because it’s only partial breast radiation, it has a shorter radiation obligation and the fact that it only treats the part of the breast that is affected sounded promising. If I had to endure 6 weeks of whole breast radiation, it would have kept me from enjoying time taking care of my granddaughter, seeing my friends and enjoying the upcoming holiday season.

For my radiation treatments, Dr. Abhilash Nambiar was my radiation oncologist. Everyone who works at the radiation oncology center was wonderful to me. Because of Hurricane Sandy, I had to wait a few extra days to start radiation, even though the SAVI was already in place, but the staff accommodated me very well. Although my SAVI was in for longer than I expected, I feel so lucky to have had the chance for partial breast radiation.

I must say I experienced no complications or inconveniences whatsoever during my SAVI treatments! There was no pain, just a little pressure against my ribcage, but I was surprised that I had a lot of energy.

I was so excited when I received my SAVI Sisters pin in the mail! I will wear it proudly. I will wear it in hopes that other women, both young and “young at heart,” will ask me what the pin is for and I will tell them my story. All women must know what options are available to them if God forbid they are ever faced with such shocking news. I am telling my story because I would like to help other people on their journey.