Photo: Melanie Cook (Flickr)
Doctors in Indianapolis say they have completed six procedures using a new technique for treating early stage lumpectomies for breast cancer, all with positive reports. The procedure, which is being offered at Community Hospitals, involves using a device known as an intrabeam applicator which is used during a lumpectomy.
Dr. S. Chace Lottich with Community Health Network says the device treats the breast with radiation therapy during the procedure, which takes 20 to 30 minutes. She says the procedure is helpful to breast cancer patients because it gives them the radiation treatment they need without having to travel and miss work to get it.
“Women who couldn‘t, for all those reasons, do a lumpectomy before,” she says, now they can do it and feel like they‘re doing state of the art treatment for their breast cancer with less cost to their personal and professional lives.”
She adds the treatment is more precise because it targets a specific area without affecting surrounding breast tissue that doesn‘t need the treatment.
“So for women, this allows them to do sort of state of the art good therapy with less damage to the surrounding tissue,” she says. “From that standpoint as well, it‘s very appealing to those people who are saying, ‘You know, I‘d like less if I could get away with it but I don‘t want to compromise my chances for a cure.’”
Trials for this procedure began in 2000 in nine different countries. Dr. Lottich says the trials showed for the majority of the women, there was no difference in survival or recurrence, so the treatment is equivalent to traditional treatment for women who qualify.