Bernadette Peters – SAVI Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer
Be savvy about SAVI – Bernadette Peters' breast cancer patient success story
|Bernadette Peters underwent
SAVI Radiation Therapy for
breast cancer treatment
From the summer 2011 edition of Shine magazine
Bernadette Peters' journey with cancer began in April 2010.
"After a routine mammogram, my gynecologist called to tell me they had found something," Peters says.
Her biopsy revealed carcinoma. A tumor. Breast cancer.
"Two weeks later, I was being prepared for surgery," she says. "I had a lumpectomy on May 1."
SAVI – a breast cancer treatment that takes only 5 days
Peters' surgeon was Martin Koonsman, MD, an independently practicing surgeon on the medical staff at Methodist Health System. He told Peters she would have to have radiation treatment after her body had a chance to heal. At her six-week checkup, he discussed SAVITM therapy with Peters, explaining that SAVI shortens the course of treatment and results in less damage to the skin.
"I had heard that the traditional treatment takes five to six weeks and has side effects," Peters says. "So I thought five days versus six weeks, no hair falling out, treatment directly to the affected area - it made sense to me."
Peters was still able to work during her SAVI therapy, going in for treatment around 9 a.m., then going to work for about four hours and returning for her second treatment around 2 p.m. The SAVI catheters, or tubes, used to deliver radiation remained in her breast during the entire course of treatment. Once it was over, the tubes were removed. Discomfort was minimal, and Peters' energy level remained the same.
"Nobody even knew I was wearing the SAVI device, because I was able to conceal it under my clothes," she says.
Peters says her surgeon and the hospital's staff members were really nice and supportive.
"They were very encouraging and reminded me that I could complete the treatment," she says.
Peters says the whole process was educational.
"To think there is something so powerful that you can be treated with it and be okay," she says, referring to the SAVI treatment. "Tell other ladies who are candidates for this treatment to try it. It's definitely better than six weeks!"
SAVI is a five-day radiation treatment after lumpectomy for breast cancer that delivers radiation from within the breast. The SAVI applicator consists of an expandable bundle of tubes, each of which can deliver a different dose of precisely targeted radiation. Because SAVI offers so much more flexibility in the strength of the dosage, a larger group of women can benefit from it. SAVI is an appropriate option for women with early-stage breast cancer. If the SAVI applicator is right for you, the reduction in treatment time from several weeks to five days can be a benefit in helping you return to your normal life sooner.
Methodist Dallas Medical Center was the first hospital in Texas to offer the advanced radiation therapy SAVITM and is one of only 12 facilities in the greater Dallas - Fort Worth area named as Centers of Excellence in accelerated partial breast irradiation for their use of SAVI.
For more information, or to find an independently practicing physician on the Methodist Health System medical staff, call 214-947-0000.
Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System.
Texas Oncology PA is an independent physician group with independently practicing oncologists. No oncologist practicing or other health care provider providing services at any cancer center operated by Texas Oncology PA, including the two Methodist Cancer Center locations mentioned above are employees or agents of Methodist Health System, and Methodist Health System does not control nor have the right to control the medical services provided by Texas Oncology PA and/or provided at either cancer center location identified above