(INDIANAPOLIS) - Doctors in central Indiana are reaching new innovations in breast cancer treatment with a new device that eliminates the need for women to endure long-term radiation therapy.
Community Health Network is one of the first hospitals in the country offering the INTRABEAM System to women who discover early stage breast tumors.
Jan Miller had a tumor in her left breast removed, but before surgeons closed the incision, the radiation oncologist applied the tip applicator of the INTRABEAM machine into the tumor cavity where an exact dose of radiation was applied for 20 to 30 minutes, RTV6's Stacia Matthews reported.
"We put the device directly into that cancer site and they're able to deliver and truly target the dose directly to the cancer, the tumor bed," Dr. Chace Lottich said. "What's best is that we don't damage tissue that's not cancerous."
Lottich said the state-of-the-art technology is less expensive than traditional long-term outpatient therapy and there are no treatment delays for patients who must have chemotherapy, which was good news to Miller.
"I think it's wonderful. That's my choice right now. I'll take it," Miller said. "I don't have to endure the six weeks of radiation everyday or have the burning of skin or the nausea and the other side effects that come along with it."
"From a patient standpoint, (the procedure) truly is a win-win," Lottich said.
Miller had advice for other women who may be dealing with breast cancer.
"Take your yearly mammograms every year, regardless of how you feel about being pinched up. If that C-word comes around, don't be alarmed. There's so much new technology now that you can have radiation on the same day as your surgery and start a new journey," Miller said.
Lottich said patients having the INTRABEAM procedure can request a plastic surgeon to fix any cosmetic defects after the surgery.
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