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  • MultiCare Cancer Center recognized for breast cancer therapy

    MultiCare Regional Cancer Center has been named a Center of Excellence in accelerated partial breast irradiation for its use of the SAVI applicator, an advanced therapy for breast cancer.

    The Regional Cancer Center was recognized for dedication to education, training and experience in partial breast irradiation. To qualify, MultiCare’s physicians, medical physicists and clinical staff were required to complete a comprehensive training and education program to demonstrate proficiency in delivering radiation therapy with SAVI. As a Center of Excellence, the Regional Cancer Center has expressed a commitment to patient education, advocacy and awareness of advanced breast cancer treatments.

    “We have worked hard to provide a program that meets the highest standards for our patients including partial breast irradiation with the SAVI applicator,” said Lorrie Rawlins, Radiation Oncology Department Manager at the MultiCare Regional Cancer Center. “We are proud of our service, and this award honors the hard work of the teams who work with patients.”

    The SAVI applicator may extend breast conservation therapy to a larger group of women. Breast-conservation therapy includes lumpectomy – the surgical removal of the cancerous tissue within the breast plus tissue immediately around the tumor – followed by radiation. This approach is an alternative to mastectomy, which removes the entire breast and is often followed by breast reconstruction.

    The SAVI applicator delivers a form of radiation therapy known as breast brachytherapy. The approach, which targets the tumor site from inside the breast, is becoming a more widely used alternative to traditional radiation.

    Breast brachytherapy typically involves two treatments per day for only five days. This shorter timeframe makes brachytherapy more convenient than traditional, external-beam radiation. The latter is delivered five times a week and takes six or seven weeks. This process also limits radiation exposure of healthy tissue, which reduces damage to critical structures such as the skin, heart, lungs and ribs.

    Posted on Aug 16, 2010 in