Angela’s story – breast cancer and preventative surface-guided radiotherapy
Angela, who is 59-years-old and from Coventry, was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2020 following a routine mammogram.
In June, Angela had a mammoplasty operation through the NHS to remove the Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) which was in one of her milk ducts. Adjuvant (or preventative) radiotherapy was due to take place soon after but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Angela’s NHS treatment was delayed so she decided to use her private medical insurance.
Angela was referred to Consultant Oncologist Dr Penny Kechagioglou and they agreed she would have FAST-Forward* five-fraction breast and tattoo-free radiotherapy treatment. This meant that Angela could have her radiotherapy treatment shortened to 5 days as five-fraction breast treatment delivers higher radiation therapy over fewer sessions. It allowed Angela, who lives alone, to get back to seeing friends and family faster following a reduced period of self-isolation.
The tattoo-free treatment was delivered using surface-guided radiation therapy and means Angela has no permanent reminder of the cancer on her skin.
Angela’s treatment took place at the end of August and she is now looking forward to planning her 60th birthday next year.
She said: “My diagnosis means I unfortunately missed some key family events such as my nephew’s 18th birthday – the first of my nephews’ birthdays I have ever missed – which is why I’m so grateful I’m not still waiting for breast cancer treatment and can start to put that part of my life behind me.”
We believe patients can be our teachers and trusted advisers, benefiting from their unique experiences.
*FAST-Forward is a large clinical research programme published in May 2020 which had shown that instead of receiving radiation over 15 treatments (or fractions) with an overall dose of 40Gy, breast cancer patients could safely undergo 5 treatments with 26Gy and achieve the same result. Based on this evidence, GenesisCare decided to make this available for all suitable patients.