If you or a family member have been diagnosed with cancer, you know it's not always convenient to drive back and forth multiple times for radiation. However, for some breast cancer patients, that's a thing of the past.
The latest technology offers just one concentrated dose of radiation, and thanks to University of Colorado Health, it's at Memorial Hospital.
This is the third time Emilie Fiedler has had cancer, but it's the first time she was able to receive all her radiation treatments at once. The new treatment option is called Intraoperative Radiation Therapy.
"The results are very promising in our low-risk, older population," said Radiation Oncologist Dr. Jane Ridings, medical director for radiation oncology at Memorial Hospital.
For 79-year-old Fiedler, it was the perfect procedure, especially because of its convenience. Instead of going to the hospital five days a week for three to six weeks to receive radiation, she had just one procedure and she was done.
"Our breast surgeon removes the cancer and in the space that is left behind in the breast, we together fit a balloon catheter. It allows us to deliver the radiation to the middle of the balloon and therefore the middle of the breast tissue thought to be at highest risk for having possible left over cancer cells," said Ridings.
The small catheter will deliver a mighty dose of radiation over a 10 - 15minute period, while the patient is still asleep on the operating room table.
Since June 24, 2014, six people in Colorado Springs have had the procedure. The machine is small and easily transported. When it's not in Colorado Springs, it's being used in Fort Collins.