Hear from real people who have been treated with TARGIT-IORT

In 2008, I experienced the first of what would become two breast cancers—different types and in different breasts. The first occurrence on the left side was near the surface (easy to reach) but was an invasive tumor.  Because of a low score on the Oncotype DX test, I did not require chemotherapy and was given three options for radiation therapy—a longer, typical course over 5-6 weeks, a 3 week Canadian model and a new 1-week treatment using a higher radiation dosage twice a day for 5 days.  I chose the newer option of 1 week at a higher dosage of radiation.  The treatment was easier than the decision!  All went well with that course of treatment.  It was followed by the customary daily pill.  I used Tamoxifin for a little more than a year then moved to an Aromatase Inhibitor because of its better results with fighting recurrence.
Then 10 years later in 2018, a mammogram and MRI found cancer in the other breast.  This was fortunately assessed to be non-invasive, but was located deep next to the chest wall—a difficult location for the surgeon.  Fortunately, I was offered yet another new technique for radiation of non-invasive cancers—IORT, IntraOperative Radiation Therapy.  This involved the radiation oncologist working with the surgeon during the procedure instead of later after the incisions are healed.
Since I was still under anesthesia, I was not aware of the surgery nor the radiation therapy.  Afterwards I learned that the IORT took about 30 minutes for the oncologist to zap all the tissue and observe the conclusion of the procedure.  This was totally painless, of course, and has brought no after-effects in the 2+ years since it was performed.
When people ask me about my experience with IORT I have to say “Hmmm, there was really no experience.  I woke up and left the hospital, ready to get on with my life.”   No return visits except for check-ups.

 

Elaine F.

I liked that it was only one session of radiation. Who wouldn’t do this if it is within your scope of treatment. You go in they do the procedure and treatment. For myself, no after effects and I left the same day. I went home without pain and I never had to think of it again, as I got back into my life in an instant.

 

Diane S.

My initial reaction to it all was just shock.  I couldn’t believe that it was happening to me. I found out after my annual mammogram that something was amiss. Then after a biopsy, I got the call that I had early-stage breast cancer.

The most difficult part is knowing that you have breast cancer and out of nowhere. The other thing is telling my family, I lost my mom to cancer, not breast cancer. It’s just such a scary thought, just so scary, but once there was a plan, then it just made everything so much easier just to walk through the plan.

My options were radiotherapy six to eight weeks after I had healed from this surgery or to have IORT and that just seemed to me to make the most sense because I was being treated right away at the time of surgery, which seemed earth-shattering in a way that I could have IORT inside me right away.

There was no pain. There was nothing afterwards and it lessened my treatment, having to go every day for six to eight weeks.

 

Carol