Avera Medical Minute: MammoSite Brachytherapy Radiation - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute: MammoSite Brachytherapy Radiation

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Avera Queen of Peace Radiation Oncologist Dr. Stephen Dick checks up with breast cancer and brachytherapy patient Corrine Larson. Avera Queen of Peace Radiation Oncologist Dr. Stephen Dick checks up with breast cancer and brachytherapy patient Corrine Larson.

If you are diagnosed with breast cancer and you live in the Mitchell region you no longer have to travel any further than Avera Queen of Peace for treatment, no matter what that treatment involves. Nancy Naeve Brown has more on a specialized radiation therapy for qualifying lumpectomy patients now offered in Mitchell.

In the fall of 2010 after a routine mammogram Corrine Larson from Mitchell heard the words all women fear you have breast cancer.  Fortunately for her, it was followed by the words you are a candidate for MammoSite breast Brachytherapy now offered at the Avera Queen of Peace Cancer Center in Mitchell.

General Surgeon Dr. Dennis Leland at Avera Queen of Peace says, "MammoSite is special way to deliver radiation therapy for women who have breast cancer and chose to have a lumpectomy."

Corrine says, "It was wonderful. I was truly blessed to be able to do that."

Not everyone is a candidate for this type of radiation treatment. You have to have early stage breast cancer that hasn't spread to the lymph nodes, be at least 50 years old and the tumor can't be too close to the surface of the skin. Dr. Dennis Leland was Corrine's surgeon.

Dr. Leland says, "MammoSite is a balloon that is placed in the cavity that's left after the removed growth and cancer. Within the little balloon is a little tube. Through the tube a small radioactive seed is placed twice a day for 5 days. When you are done deflate the balloon and remove."

The team at the Cancer Center says there are very little side effects, the outcomes are proving to be extremely good, as good as any other modality, but the time commitment for the patient is the real kicker.

Avera Queen of Peace Radiation Oncologist Dr. Stephen Dick says, "Conventional radiation therapy is daily radiation to the entire breast Monday through Friday for about 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 weeks. MammoSite Brachytherapy is targeted treatment is just to the tumor bed region given twice a day Monday through Friday and you're done in a week as opposed to 6 weeks with conventional radiation."   

The radiation seed is stored in the base of the Nucletron machine, leakage is very low and the patient never feels the radioactive seeds going in or going out.

Corrine says, "I feel wonderful today. Really great and I'm doing great."

Corrine also thinks it's great that she and other women can get this high tech treatment at home right at home in Mitchell at Avera Queen of Peace.

With MammoSite Brachytherapy from lumpectomy surgery to radiation it's 10 days.  Radiation Oncologist Dr. Dick says that's a difference from conventional radiation. And the radioactive seed is only in the breast for a few minutes during the actual treatment.

For more information: http://www.avera.org/queen-of-peace/services/cancer.aspx

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