Friday, July 11, 2008
Medical Reports: Cervical Cancer
This year, more than 11,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Worldwide, more than half a million women will learn they have the disease. One doctor is hoping to change those statistics with a new device that is already saving lives. Seven's Christine Cruz has details in tonight's Healthcast.
WSVN -- Dorothy Smith: "That's going to be ready on Saturday."
At age 68, Dorothy Smith has no plans of slowing down.
Dorothy Smith: "I don't want to stop working. I wouldn't know what to do with myself."
She's grateful for every second. Seven years ago, she was hit with advanced cervical cancer.
Dorothy Smith: "I said, 'Oh, my God. I'm going to die. I can't believe I'm stage three.' No symptoms, no nothing."
She needed a device to deliver radiation inside her body, but her cancer was so advanced, the standard device, seen here, was not an option.
Dr. Aaron Wolfson, University of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center: "It's very cumbersome. It causes great discomfort and even pain to the patients."
At the same time, Dr. Aaron Wolfson was developing a safer, more effective alternative called Gynocyte.
Dr. Aaron Wolfson: "It allows us to give a very intense amount of radiation to the tumor with little damage to the nearby and normal tissues."
The device, which stays in for three days, is also much easier to insert.
Dr. Aaron Wolfson: "You can give enough dose to cure the cancer without harming the patient."
This X-ray shows the old device, which has a 60 to 70 percent cure rate. This one shows the Gynocyte with a 90 percent cure rate.
Dr. Aaron Wolfson: "The amazing thing about Dorothy is, without this device, she had no chance."
Surviving has changed Dorothy's outlook.
Dorothy Smith: "You look forward to every day. Every day you wake up, you thank God for another day."
Gynocyte was just FDA approved and doctors and hospitals across the country now have access to the device.
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