New Technology Shortens Breast Cancer Treatment Time

April Henning’s advanced breast cancer treatment using the SAVI device shortened her treatment time so she could get back to her normal life.

During their 31 years of marriage, April Henning often cared for her husband, Bob, through various health problems, including lung cancer three years ago. So when Mrs. Henning received her own diagnosis of cancer, her first priority was choosing a treatment that would enable her to continue her role as caregiver.

Finding the Right Treatment

Mrs. Henning’s first symptom of breast cancer was pain in her breast. When the diagnosis was confirmed, radiation oncologist Chick Hechtman, MD, explained her different options.

“He walked me through the more common options,” said Mrs. Henning. “Then we discussed this new treatment — the SAVI — and it sounded like the right option for me.”

Cianna SAVI treatment consists of a radiation therapy device that is inserted directly into the cavity left in the breast after a tumor is removed. The device delivers a high dose of radiation directly to the source of the tumor while sparing nearby healthy tissue. SAVI reduces treatment time from more than six weeks to five to 10 days. It also helps physicians better target the radiation.

Area’s First SAVI Treatment at Halifax Health

Mrs. Henning’s SAVI treatment at Halifax Health was the first in the area. Because of the shortened time frame, she was able to quickly return to her normal lifestyle.

“I wanted to have the best hope of eradicating the cancer from my body,” Mrs. Henning recalled. “And I wanted the best solution for my circumstances. I had a husband who needed medical attention, so it was great for me to experience such a short treatment time.”

Caren Wilkie, MD, surgically implanted Mrs. Henning’s device on May 1. She completed 10 treatments before the SAVI was removed on May 14.

“I feel great, and it’s been such a relief to go through the process this way,” said Mrs. Henning. “There was really a strong sense of family and caring at Halifax Health. I feel like I had the chance to get the best healthcare available from a team of people who are doing the best they can to help me.”

Halifax Health is the only area hospital offering SAVI treatment for breast cancer. To learn more, call us at 877.8.HALIFAX.