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My Story

zeegirl116 | age 72
Registered Nurse
Tucson, AZ
8 years, 4 months since her MammoSite treatment.

I am a registered nurse and had been pretty good about routine health screenings, including mammograms. There is minimal history of cancers in my family and none previous for breast cancer. I was quite surprised when my routine screening mammography in September 2010 came as "needing further evaluation" and a recommended biopsy.

My family physician referred me to a local general surgeon. Some precious time was lost between the initial mammography, referral by my family physician and getting in to see the referred surgeon. The surgeon, after examining me proclaimed that he felt no lump. When I inquired as to having a biopsy he indicated he would do the biopsy if I wanted but he felt "wait and see" would be better course of action. I chose to pursue on my own, researched on-line for the best treatment facilities and located a highly rated one in Tucson, AZ. I live in a very rural area and Tucson is several hours away. I had the needle biopsy at The Breast Center in Tucson.

The biopsy in November 2010 was positive. I previously had researched for breast cancer surgeons and found the name of several. The Breast Center also gave me some additional referral surgeon names. One name they provided me was also in my original researched list. I chose Dr. Michelle Ley and was able to arrange for an appointment the following week.

I knew from my very first meeting with Dr. Ley and her staff that I was in good hands. These were the experts for this diagnosis. They provided me with the needed patient education and also education and support for my spouse. I was provided referrals for Social Workers and other valuable resources specific to cancer treatment.

We were provided with several treatment options and decided on partial mastectomy or lumpectomy which was done near the end of November. I opted for local anesthesia and did amazingly well. Tissue the size of a lime was removed. I had no ill effects from that surgery and recovered very well. I was able to return to the motel that evening and then home the following day.

I had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Ley the following week. A biopsy of the removed tissue showed some "migrated cells" that had been removed along with the initial biopsied tumor. Dr. Ley recommended a biopsy of a sentinel node and a course of radiation, to be on the safe side.

I had the sentinel node biopsy done in January. The biopsies from that have been negative. I was able to choose between daily radiation every day for six weeks or 5-day course of "targeted radiation" twice a day for one week. I chose the latter. I completed the MammoSite Targeted Radiation Therapy in January 2011. With the targeted radiation I was told that the possibility of skin damage or burning is much less and that has proven true. I have some swelling in that breast and an area that is numb and hard to the touch. It was explained to me that this is likely scar tissue from the radiation and while some of it may dispel, I likely will have this for quite a while, if not forever. There is also a minor seeping of fluid from the nipple that is probably related to the swelling of the breast area.

I am scheduled for follow up with my breast surgeon and oncologist in April 2011 and a follow up mammogram in June.

This profile is solely the words of the person who received MammoSite Targeted Radiation Therapy to treat breast cancer. Note that this profile is specific to this particular person, and experiences will vary.