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NM hospital adds new breast cancer treatment tool

Erica Zucco
May 19, 2017 11:41 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.  -- A New Mexico hospital is using a new tool that could make part of treatment less invasive and less time consuming for a lot of patients.

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When lifelong New Mexican Sylvia Anaya learned she needed breast cancer treatment after a regularly scheduled mammogram, she didn’t know what to expect. Learning that a new treatment at Lovelace Women’s Hospital could help her avoid weeks of radiation helped her get through it.

“The more I thought about it, I got really anxious. I wanted it done, and I wanted it over with. The really good, appealing part of it was the fact that it was a one-time treatment,” Anaya said.

Lovelace’s new Zeiss Intrabeam “Intraoperative Radiotherapy System,” or IORT, gives a single dose of radiotherapy during a patient’s lumpectomy, instead of multiple doses over the next few weeks.

“The device has the dosage adjusted so that it’s a smaller dosage and you give it over a longer time, 20-40 minutes, instead of one high energy shot each day,” Dr. Calvin Ridgeway said.

Anaya recommends eligible patients ask their doctors about it.

“Everybody's different, everybody heals different... I don't know if I should say this in front of the doctor, but I have a routine, every day I go to McDonald's and read a book- I was there the day after!” Anaya said.

Ridgeway says it’s a fit for patients who catch cancer early, making regular checks important.

“We still advocate women get mammograms once a year, starting at either forty or forty five, it’s a discussion you should have with your doctor,” Ridgeway said.

Credits

Erica Zucco

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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