Lakeland Health gets new cancer equipment

Breast cancer impacts thousands of people each year. It is estimated in 2016 there will be about 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women, according to the American Cancer Society.

Lakeland Health in St. Joseph recently got new technology to better serve the Michiana region. They are the only hospital in the region to have this breast cancer treatment technology.

It is called the Intrabeam Intraoperative Radiotherapy System. This type of treatment may be useful for those who are in the early stages of breast cancer.

It can be particularly helpful for those who want breat preservation, like a lumpectomy.

With the technology, a single dose of radiation is directly administered to the cancer area while the patient is still asleep from the lumpectomy surgery.

This can save the patient from weeks of radiation after surgery and provide for a faster recovery.

“Which results in a tremendous cost savings, a tremendous savings in time, convenience. It’s really hard to be any more accurate when you’re delivering the dose of radiation into the cavity that you just made when you took the tumor out,” said Radiation Oncologist Benjamin Gielda.

This type of treatment differs from traditional breat preservation where patients typically go through weeks of radiation.

“Perform a surgery in the O.R., allow several weeks for recovery and then either then or after chemotherapy the woman would then undergo 3 to 7 weeks of daily radiation treatment,” Gielda added.

Up until this point, this type of treatment was only available at large university medical centers and research hospitals.

To learn more about signs and symptoms of breast cancer, click here.

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