Dianna Bakker was diagnosed with cancer of the left breast last April. She underwent chemotherapy followed by a mastectomy in September.
Although Ms. Bakker’s first medical oncologist did not recommend radiation therapy, Bakker, who had immersed herself researching her treatment options, found that for her type of cancer radiation was highly recommended.
“You have no control over cancer, and I wanted to do everything I could,” said Bakker, 71. “So I switched hospitals and got a second opinion at Silver Cross Hospital. I’m glad I did.”
At Silver Cross Dr. Anne McCall, medical director of radiation oncology at University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross, performed a unique breast cancer treatment, 3-D Surface Imaging to Facilitate Deep-Inspiration Breath-Hold (DIBH) on Bakker. The treatment minimizes the risk of radiation exposure to the heart for patients with left-sided breast tumors.
By breathing deeply and briefly holding their breath during treatment, patients can move the heart and lungs away from the chest wall or breast tissue. To make DIBH easier for the patient, Dr. McCall uses a state-of-the-art system that relies on 3D surface imaging to detect the breast's position for accurate treatment. This highly sensitive technology delivers radiation only during optimal positioning, and shuts off automatically when the patient coughs or exhales. Unlike older DIBH technology, it’s non-invasive and doesn’t require the patient to breathe into a device during treatment.
“I think it’s a terrific idea,” said Bakker. “It’s less time that you’re exposed.
“I’m really impressed with how they’re dealing with my cancer at Silver Cross,” said Bakker, who is nearly finished with her treatments. “It’s investigating yourself, finding the right doctor, listening to them and letting them make the decision for you. “I just cannot speak highly enough about them. They do everything they can to help me. All I keep thinking is I’m almost done. I’m going to conquer this cancer.”
University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital
1850 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox
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