Update on new treatment for breast cancer

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Grand Junction, Colo. (KKCO) - An update to a story that we brought you last Friday on a newer treatment for breast cancer. The procedure takes just five days instead of the usual six weeks of radiation.

When we first caught up with Eileen Jensen Kercheval last week, she had a balloon catheter inserted into her breast. This week she has had a radioactive seed placed inside the balloon port twice a day, with a six hour separation period. The seed will plant in eight different places inside the balloon, delivering the radiation to the exact spots the doctors are targeting.

Experts say targeting the radiation only where the cancer is and the shorter treatment schedule is what makes this procedure exciting.

Once doctors have Eileen connected to the radiation machine she will remain in the room alone while doctors will monitor the process from a computer.

"The risks mainly are local because the radiation treatment is a local treatment. So right above where the balloon sits in the skin often times that will become red. A couple of weeks after the radiation the skin reaction is actually less with this kind of treatment then it is with the external radiation,” says Dr. Gayle Miller, radiation oncologist.
Eileen's last treatment will be on Friday, She'll go in for a check up in two weeks and then again every three months.

Eileen, says " I want to thank Doctor Miller for all her wonderful help, and i want to urge all the women out there to get a mammogram. Don't wait until you feel it. Get tested and if necessary you to may benefit from this wonderful treatment.

Seed implants can also be used for men with prostate cancer although a different type of radiation is used on men. Another big difference is that the implant used in men is a permanent one whereas implants in women will be removed.

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