For early-stage breast cancer patients who meet certain criteria, the new MammoSite Radiation Therapy System (RTS) is a leading-edge procedure that cuts radiation therapy from six weeks to one week. Today, HMG surgeon Dr. Cheryl Stanski, MD, FACS, went one step further in delivering patient convenience, becoming the region’s first surgeon to insert a “cavity evaluation device,” a type of placeholder balloon catheter, at the time of the lumpectomy—eliminating the need for the patient to once again return to surgery should pathology indicate MammoSite RTS would be the appropriate treatment. The procedure was performed today at Wellmont’s Holston Valley Medical Center.
“Previously, following the initial lumpectomy and after receiving the pathology report and learning of the unfortunate news of breast cancer, patients who were candidates for MammoSite radiation therapy had to return to the operating room to have the mammosite balloon catheter inserted,” says Stanski, who estimates that 60 to 70 percent of her patient load involves breast disease. “This new technique greatly improves patient convenience and comfort while reducing anxiety during an already stressful time.”
Now, instead of requiring a patient to return to surgery, Dr. Stanski is inserting a “cavity evaluation device” at the time of the lumpectomy and is using it as a sort of placeholder balloon. In the event the pathology report indicates breast cancer and the patient meets certain criteria to receive mammosite radiation therapy, Dr. Stanski will simply remove the cavity evaluation device and insert the mammosite balloon catheter. This follow-up procedure takes approximately 15 minutes and is performed in the convenience of her office.
If the pathology is negative or indicates the patient does not qualify for MammoSite RTS, Dr. Stanski will simply remove the balloon at the time of the patient’s in-office visit.
The cavity evaluation device was originally designed by the Cytyc Corporation to be used during surgery just prior to the insertion of the mammosite balloon catheter to evaluate the size of the cavity resulting from the removal of the breast mass during the lumpectomy. Stanski is one of the first among a growing number of surgeons within the United States who are using the cavity evaluation device as a placeholder balloon catheter.
The MammoSite RTS is the most widely used method of partial breast irradiation. It works by delivering radiation from inside the breast directly to the tissue where cancer is most likely to recur. Radiation therapy with MammoSite RTS can be completed in only five days, allowing the patient to get back to her life. Traditional radiation treatment generally involves six weeks of whole breast external beam radiation therapy. For more information about MammoSite RTS, please visit www.mammosite.com.
About Cheryl Stanski, MD, FACS
Board certified by the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Stanski received her doctorate of medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, La., where she also completed an internship and general surgery residency. She received her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. Dr. Stanski has been practicing with HMG General Surgery since 2001.