A new treatment used in the fight against breast cancer can be found in Nashville. It speeds up the time of treatment post surgery and is easy and convenient.
But a mammosite isn't for every patient.
Diagnosed in January, 2006 with breast cancer, Martha Price wasted no time getting help.
"I was an educator for 36 years and I have my own business now," Price said.
Martha lives in Kentucky, two hours from Baptist Hospital, where she has been treated. She underwent a lumpetcomy and was relieved to find out she qualified for a new, more efficient procedure called mammosite.
"Women really like it. As far as the convenience factor which is one of the main reasons for doing this, the women who have had it done feel like it really fits in nicely with their lifestyle," Dr. Laura Lawson of Baptist Hospital said.
In years past, doctors would perform a lumpectomy and then irradiate the entire breast. That procedure would require daily treatments for up to six weeks. The mammosite procedure requires radiation treatments twice a day for only five days.
After doctors remove a cancerous tumor from the breast, they surgically insert this balloon-like catheter in its place.
Martha's radiation oncologist Dr. Kenneth Lloyd reviews computer ct scans of the affected area of breast tissue. Then Lloyd determines how much breast tissue will receive radiation.
Once the catheter is in place, the radiation is administered for a total of five to 10 minutes.
"The patient feels nothing while the treatment is actually taking place. They don't feel any heat. They don't feel any sensation whatsoever," Lloyd said.
Keep in mind you have to be a good candidate for mammosite.
That means your tumor must not be larger than three centimeters, you should have no lymphnode involvement and you must be 45 years or older.
Months after Martha's mammosite, she is gaining energy and feeling good.
"There's really not been a recovery. I've been up and going all the time," she said.
Martha is ready to continue retirement cancer free.
The mammosite procedure is offered at Baptist Hospital, St. Thomas hospital and Middle Tennessee Medical Center.