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AccuBoost Improves Radiation Therapy Treatment for Breast Cancer Patients

Carolyn1The word cancer isn’t new to Carolyn. In 1999, she was diagnosed with cancer in her ear. It required an all-day surgery, and she received a new ear drum. Fourteen years later, the word cancer wasn’t any easier to hear. Carolyn was diagnosed with breast cancer. Carolyn’s positive attitude shines through, “I beat it once; I can do it again.”

Carolyn considers herself blessed. “I’m lucky they came out with new AccuBoost radiation therapy treatment, so I didn’t have to have as many radiation treatments.”

Saint Elizabeth is the only hospital in Midwest to offer AccuBoost, which uses brachytherapy technology to deliver a “boost” of radiation in or close to the tumor as possible. The new treatment benefits women undergoing radiation treatment by minimizing damage to nearby, healthy body tissue and organs, over a shorter treatment period.

Carolyn had surgery to remove the tumor. Radiation therapy was needed to make sure all the cancer is gone. “I feel more comfortable knowing the radiation is pinpointing a targeted area,” says Carolyn.

AccuBoost directs the radiation parallel to the chest wall, reducing the exposure to the organs below the chest wall when compared to traditional treatment. This is especially important when undergoing treatment of the left breast where radiation below the chest wall can reach the heart as well as the lungs.

“I was always 100 percent confident that the Saint Elizabeth team was doing the right thing,” adds Carolyn. “They took the fear out of what was going to happen next.”

Carolyn is finished with treatment and is looking forward to camping, one of her favorite past times.

“I have had cancer twice, but I am fortunate to have support. My family was behind me 100 percent. My church was praying for me, and the people at Saint Elizabeth were very helpful and caring.”