Pink Week: New Procedure Reduces Radiation Treatment Time - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Pink Week: New Procedure Reduces Radiation Treatment Time

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At a doctor's appoint at the Scott & White Cancer Center, Susie Lovett is all smiles.

Maybe not what you'd expect from someone surprised by a breast cancer diagnosis just three months ago.

"I had not felt anything, had not felt bad...just my routine check," she explained how doctors found the disease inside her.

But early detection and manageable tumor helped her qualify for a program that gained speed at the hospital in just the last six months.

It's new approach to radiation: called Savi.

"Standard whole breast radiation was six to six and a half weeks. This treatment can be done in 5 days," said staff radiation oncologist Dr. Celine Ord.

Surgeons insert a small device into the breast.  It stays inside the patient all week.

"It's usually a lateral incision you know from the side," explained Dr. Ord.

When it's time for treatment, the device sends the radiation directly to the tumor from the inside.

It's a far cry from standard treatment where a massive machine called the Linear Accelerator sends radiation from outside the body to the entire breast.

"You treat that cavity plus a small rim of normal tissue. So you really are delivering less dose to the adjacent organs that means the chest wall, the heart, the lung," Dr. Ord said.

"I took two weeks off (work). I took the week of my surgery and the following week of the treatment and I was ready to go back after 2 weeks," Susie said. 

It's both painless and convenient.

And now Susie gets to go back to her normal routine. But while life is back to normal she's living it knowing every breath is precious.

"It made me really think about my life and not to sweat the small stuff and appreciate your family and your friends. It really does make you feel that way," she said.

Fighting the biggest battle and coming out on top.

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