Facing breast cancer treatment can mean weeks and weeks of radiation therapy. But now local doctors are offering a "Single Shot" to some patients. 7's Diana Diaz shows us how it works.
WSVN -- If you're looking for Zillah Tarkoe, you will probably find her in the pool!
Zillah Tarkoe: "It makes your body feel good"
Being in such good health, she was shocked to find out she had breast cancer.
Zillah Tarkoe: "I don't think that you ever expect that anything like that could happen to you."
Dr. Joseph Casey at Holy Cross Hospital says the disease strikes thousands of people every year.
Dr. Joseph Casey: "I think there were about 250,00 cases in the United States this past year."
Now there's a new weapon in the fight against breast cancer.
Dr. Joseph Casey: "This is the intrabeam"
The intra-beam device is revolutionary because it delivers a one-time dose of radiation therapy to the patient during breast cancer surgery!
Dr. Joseph Casey: "It's done at the time of lumpectomy, targeting is precise because you're right at the point where you put the radiation."
Traditional radiation usually meant the patient had to travel to the hospital every day for up to six weeks.
Intra-beam shoots a beam of radiation in a single dose, but it isn't for everyone.
Dr. Joseph Casey: "They have to be optimal candidates, small tumors."
Dr. Casey says patients must be at least 60 years old. With small tumors less than two centimeters in size and negative lymph nodes.
Zillah was relieved to find out she could have intrabeam.
Zillah Tarkoe: "From what I understand it's a more targeted treatment and it's low dose radiation."
Dr. Casey says since Zillah only needed a lumpectomy, she was the perfect candidate.
Dr. Joseph Casey: "She received her radiation therapy in the operating room, the final pathology report was good so that's the only treatment zillah needs."
Doctors are now looking at using intra-beam on younger patients.
Dr. Joseph Casey: "For the better tumors, the tumors that are less aggressive, less likely to spread, this may be a good treatment for the younger patients."
Zillah loved the fact that she could get back to her active lifestyle so soon after surgery.
Zillah Tarkoe: "As soon as I could get back in the pool, I was back in the pool."
She says a breast cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. So make sure you do your research.
Zillah Tarkoe: "It is your body that you're talking about and your future, so consider all your options and find out what works best for you."
Dr. Casey says right now, younger patients with more aggressive tumors still benefit from whole breast radiation.
For More Information:.
Holy Cross Hospital:
Tel: (954) 492-5764
Switchboard: (305) 751-6692