Breast Cancer Breakthroughs

WSVN — A breast cancer diagnosis is frightening. Now two new technologies are making the treatment a bit easier on patients. 7’s Lynn Martinez tells us about these breast cancer breakthroughs.

Mindy Torres loves spending time with her precious grandchildren,

Mindy Torres: "Very proud grandma of four grandchildren, two boys, two girls."

but when she found a lump in her breast, she knew she had to focus on her health.

Mindy Torres: "They did a biopsy and it turned out to be cancerous."

Mindy went through five months of chemo, then needed surgery to remove the tumor.

Doctors at Memorial Regional Hospital used a new technology, similar to the GPS in your car, during that surgery.

Erica Bloomquist: "We started using what’s called the SAVI SCOUT surgical guided system."

A tiny device the size of a staple is placed in the breast where the tumor is to be removed. And this can be done up to seven days before surgery.

Erica Bloomquist: "You can go home with it, you can have it done at your convenience, you can’t feel it you don’t know it’s there."

Then on the day of surgery, the doctor uses the probe to activate the device. The probe emits a loud beeping sound when the surgeon has the right spot.

Erica Bloomquist: "So I know exactly where it is, where the mass is. It helps me be very precise."

Mindy had the SAVI SCOUT implanted one week before her surgery.

Mindy Torres: "You didn’t feel anything, nothing at all, nothing at all."

Mindy says knowing her doctor knew exactly where to remove the cancer gave her peace of mind.

Mindy Torres: "It saves a lot of stress."

Sandra Carman can relate to that stress. It started with a phone call from her doctor after a breast biopsy.

Sandra Carman: "And he said it was invasive ductal carcinoma. My first reaction was, ‘I think they made a mistake.’"

But it was true, and Sandra had a tough decision to make.

Sandra Carman: "Whether or not to do a mastectomy or a breast conserving surgery."

If she chose a lumpectomy, she would need radiation after the procedure, and that worried her.

Sandra Carman: "The toxicity to your system and having to live with that."

And there are risks.

Beatriz Amendola: "We want to be sure the heart and lungs don’t receive any radiation."

So at the Innovative Cancer Institute in South Miami. They’re offering a technique called "prone radiation."

Beatriz Amendola: "That means the patient lies down on their bellies."

Patients lie face down on a special table with their arms over their head.

Beatriz Amendola: "It’s very easy for patients to lie in the prone position."

Then the radiation is perfectly aligned to target the tumor only, protecting the heart and lungs.

Sandra had prone radiation for six weeks. She says the treatment was quick and comfortable. And now this happy mom and new grandmother is sharing great news!

Sandra Carman: "She said I was cured, so that was good for me."

Two big breast cancer breakthroughs helping to save lives!

Prone radiation is best for women whose cancer was caught early, so get your yearly mammograms ladies!    


Innovative Cancer Institute

Memorial Cancer Institute