Monday, January 1, 2007
Medical Reports: Radiation Relief
For women dealing with breast cancer, daily radiation treatments can be painful and time-consuming. Now a new technique is delivering treatment in one dose. Seven's Christine Cruz has more on this Radiation Relief.
WSVN -- When it comes to breast cancer, the toughest part of treatment is often chemotherapy or radiation.
Both are painful and emotionally draining.
And, for radiation patients, treatment is also time-consuming.
June McNamee: "My son's next-door neighbor had breast cancer and had radiation. She had skin discoloration, and she had burning."
So when June McNamee got her diagnosis, she jumped at the chance to join a clinical trial for permanent radiation implants.
The procedure cuts down treatment time and pain.
Researchers in Toronto inject these small titanium beads into the breast.
The beads deliver radiation for two weeks and then remain in the breast.
Dr. Jean-Philippe Pignol: "These seeds are radioactive and will treat the area for the next two months."
That means women have only one short procedure, plus they do not experience as much skin irritation as regular radiation.
Dr. Jean-Philippe Pignol: "So basically the patient can live a normal life: go home, take care of the kids, do the normal things they want to do."
The best part: in a study of 44 patients, every single one of them responded well, and their cancer did not return.
June was one of the lucky ones.
June McNamee: "I have the same lifestyle now as I did before the cancer."
Now she is getting back to her regular routine as a doting grandma.
June McNamee: "When you look at the little grandchildren, you want to be around. You want to be there for them."
Right now this treatment is only in clinical trials in Canada and still needs further testing.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre