• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 43s

New treatment for breast cancer

By Ivanhoe Newswire 8:10 PM June 29, 2015

A breast cancer diagnosis is scary enough by itself, and for many patients, making endless trips back to the hospital for radiation therapy adds to the misery. But a new radiation treatment offers convenience and peace of mind to a lot of women.

In her twenties, Beverly Treat was a dancer and physically fit. A cancer diagnosis was the last thing she expected to hear from her doctor.

Treat told Ivanhoe, “I didn’t know what he was saying and he got right in my face, ‘Beverly you have to listen’, and I just couldn’t focus.”

Beverly had early-stage breast cancer. Doctors thought she would benefit from a new cancer therapy called intraoperative radiation therapy or IORT.

With IORT, the moment a tumor is removed during surgery, a precise concentrated dose of radiation is delivered into the cavity left behind. That’s it. No additional trips for radiation treatment.

Katherine Kopkash, MD, Breast Surgical Oncologist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago told Ivanhoe, “A young mother with two kids at home who has to go two hours a day for radiation, a lot of times, these patients get through a week or two and they’re like, I can’t, it’s just too hard.”

IORT isn’t for mastectomy patients. There are minimal side effects, but unlike long-term treatment, fatigue isn’t one of them.

Treat explained, “To me it’s a like a new day for women, that’s what it is. It’s like coming out of some kind of dark ages.”

The single-dose treatment is considered just as effective as traditional radiation. Just as important for Beverly, it means less time at the doctor and maybe more time to get back on the dance floor.

Doctors say there’s no radiation risk to other people after that single dose.  A patient could go home and hold a baby, without worrying about passing along radiation.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Andy Roesgen, Field Producer; Cortni Spearman, Assistant Producer and Jamison Koczan, Editor.

Latest Stories

  • Neighbors, close family friends react to Utah man accused of murdering wife on cruise

    by Steffi Lee on Jul 27, 22:30

    A Utah man is now facing a federal murder charge — accused of killing his wife, 39-year-old Kristy Manzanares, on a cruise ship traveling in Alaska.  Kenneth Ray Manzanares, of Santa Clara, Utah, made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday. According to a criminal complaint, on July 25, Emerald Princess Security and Medical personnel responded […]

  • Politics

    Senate GOP’s “skinny repeal” bill dies in middle-of-the-night vote

    by CBS News on Jul 27, 22:13

    Senate Republicans’ attempt to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act died early Friday morning, with three GOP senators — Sen. John McCain, Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski — voting against the proposal. “So … this is clearly a disappointing moment,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said right after the bill failed. […]

  • Politics

    Larry Persily on political drama in Washington DC

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jul 27, 22:04

    Both Senators: John McCain and Lisa Murkowski, are in the center of the political drama playing out in Washington DC, with plot lines that could be straight out of a movie. Larry Persily was the federal coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation projects and has worked for three governors and advised many state legislators, including […]

  • Former pro golfers come to Alaska to help future players

    by Dave Leval on Jul 27, 20:15

    Katelin Richards gets a different challenge every time she steps on the golf course. “Right now, my short game, my chipping and putting has been off,” said the 15-year-old player. Richards and other junior golfers ventured onto the Anchorage Golf Course to improve their game. They also received some first rate help. Janet Anderson won […]

  • On-Air

    Reality Check w/ John Tracy: Sen. McCain calls for bipartisanship, but is Washington listening?

    by John Tracy on Jul 27, 19:42

    There must be something about facing your own mortality, that provides a bit of clarity on the value of your life’s work.  I think that’s what we were seeing on Tuesday when Senator John McCain cast the deciding vote on advancing his party’s healthcare bill and then proceeded to take his colleagues to the woodshed […]

  • News

    APD bike patrols covering Anchorage

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jul 27, 19:18

    The Anchorage Police Department is covering some new territory this summer and they’re doing it on two wheels. Officers on bikes are patrolling more areas than ever before. APD’s bike patrols are made up of teams of school resource officers. They work in the schools in the winter and hit the trails during the summer. […]

  • Man with hatchet charged with attempted murder on officer

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jul 27, 18:52

    An Anchorage man was charged with attempting to kill a police officer with a hatchet. Police say on May 25, around 4:28 a.m., they responded to a report of someone breaking into cars near Morningside Loop, between Old and New Seward Highways. When police arrived, they say they tried to make contact with the suspect, 32-year-old Howard […]

  • Politics

    Two House Democrats call for investigation into calls made to Alaska’s senators

    by Bonney Bowman on Jul 27, 18:24

    Two House Democrats are calling for a formal investigation after they say the Interior Secretary threatened Alaska’s senators over healthcare. Thursday afternoon, Natural Resources Committee ranking member Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Commerce Committee ranking member Frank Pallone (D-NJ), sent letters to the Department of the Interior Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office. They want […]