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My Story

Sue | age 74
Tulsa, OK
10 years, 5 months since her MammoSite treatment.

My name is Sue and I am a 63 year old retired accountant, who still works part time. In January 2009, I had a routine mammogram which indicated that I should follow that with a diagnostic mammogram. The second mammogram called for a sonogram and the radiologist recommended that I see a surgeon. My surgeon, Dr. Laurie Flynn, looked at the film and declared that she believed what she was seeing was cancer, but extremely small. Neither she, nor my gynecologist could feel anything unusual in my breast.

I felt certain that the diagnosis would be cancer and my family and friends began praying for me. I thought that hearing the words “You have cancer” would be devastating, but when Dr. Flynn called me with the biopsy report, I felt that God was in control of my life and was able to receive this news calmly. When I met with her a couple of days later in her office, she very carefully explained all of my options, drew pictures to illustrate what was happening in my breast, and made a few recommendations, but allowed me to determine what procedures would be done. The diagnosis was invasive ductal carcinoma, and we decided that a lumpectomy, followed by radiation was the best procedure for me. We discussed the decision on whether to have partial radiation (MammoSite) or whole breast radiation and I found it easy to make the decision. She thought I was a good candidate for MammoSite and assured me that even though MammoSite has only been around a few years, test results at this time were equal to the whole breast radiation results. I thought it was very logical to concentrate the radiation only on the area that was affected, rather than destroying healthy breast tissue. I have dense breast tissue, so she recommended an MRI to be sure that there were no other tumors in either breast. After the tests and visiting with her, I felt very confident that all would be well and having that routine mammogram had saved my life!

I expected that having breast cancer would mean a long, painful recovery and many weeks of treatment, so we decided to take a long weekend trip to visit our son & daughter-in-law in Houston while we were waiting for my MRI test results. It was hard to imagine that my treatments would be over and I would be able to travel and have fun again in just two or three weeks.

My surgery was the first week of March and all went very well. For me, there was not a lot of discomfort and pain medication was only needed for a day or two. Four days after surgery, I went back to my surgeon’s office to have the catheter inserted for the MammoSite Radiation and began radiation treatments two days later. Even though I’m semi-retired, I lead a very busy life and it was great to only have to make the thirty minute trip to the hospital for treatments for five days, rather than six or seven weeks. For me, the treatments were painless and everyone involved was so friendly and caring. I was a little tired after the treatments and my breast turned slightly pink, but no pain or burning. The worst part of the treatment was the slight discomfort of having the catheter in my breast. I was given a special “MammoSite Bra” to wear, to hold it in place and I joked about it being a large piece of “industrial strength velcro” – I’m sure it didn’t come from Victoria’s Secret! Isn’t it amazing that I can go through breast surgery and radiation and the biggest thing I have to complain about is how ugly the bra is? MammoSite treatment is the form of radiation I would recommend to anyone who qualifies for this process.

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.