Breast cancer treatment has some excited

By: Brian Shlonsky Email
By: Brian Shlonsky Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- For breast cancer sufferers, the road to recovery can be long and exhausting, but a fairly new treatment has some patients excited.

You wouldn't know by looking at her, but Eileen Jensen- Kercheval is battling her second round of breast cancer.

"I'm in my ninetieth year, and I feel wonderful, and I'm going strong," she said.

The first time ten years ago, she had radiation treatments to get rid of the cancer.

"It was a month that you had to come everyday for radiation. Everyday you went home and you were so tired," Kercheval said.

So when doctors approached her with a fairly new method called targeted radiation therapy -- which only takes five days instead of six weeks-- Kercheval said she jumped on the idea.

"She explained about it, and I said, "Count me in; this is wonderful,'" she said.

Dr. Jim Hanosh performed the initial surgery Wednesday, inserting a balloon catheter inside Kercheval's breast through a small incision.

"It has either one port or several ports that radioactive seeds can be placed in. The patient goes to the radiation doctor. The seeds are placed in those ports," Hanosh said.

That will happen next week, the seeds delivering radiation treatments twice a day for half an hour over the next five days.

"The advantage is that this is a shorter treatment time frame than full breast radiation, and the radiation is localized to the area where the cancer used to be," Hanosh said.

Kercheval said so far, the treatment has been painless, and even though she's now fought cancer twice, her experience with this treatment has put her mind at ease.

"It was tough. There were many tears shed that I have to go through this again, and I have nothing but joy, and here it is Christmas time, and I have lots to be thankful for," said Kercheval.

Doctors said they've been doing the procedure for about five years, and the women that have gone through the therapy have been very pleased.

Health experts say the results are the same as full- breast radiation, so you have a shorter time course that's just as effective.

Some qualifications for targeted radiation therapy include:
- Older than 50.
- Have a single CA
- Invasive Ductal Carcinome
- Less than 3cm
- SLN (-)
- Estrogen (+)

If you’d like to link up with other women who have had the procedure, click the link below under Related Links.


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