When it comes to breast cancer, all tumors (regardless of size) tend to be treated with the same standard of care. A less invasive option, cryotherapy, has been used since 2003 with very promising results for small, early stage tumors and is now in clinical trials. Cryoablation (tumor freezing) is FDA-approved for many other cancers and now offers an alternative option to lumpectomy or mastectomy for select breast cancer patients. Here is Lauren’s story of how she went on a journey to save her breasts.
“Receiving a cancer diagnosis is beyond overwhelming. I’ve certainly learned this since being told in January (2019) that I had breast cancer. There is so much to learn; so many options and opinions to consider. Each person’s experience or knowledge is different – as is every cancer.
Not one to leave any stone unturned, I immersed myself in research and met with as many medical and naturopathic practitioners as I could to understand my options. I had a small, stage 1, invasive ductal carcinoma in my left breast, and pre-cancerous cells (atypical lobular hyperplasia) in my right breast. In consultations with multiple surgeons and an oncologist, all agreed that the standard of care would be a lumpectomy on the left (with or without reconstruction) followed by radiation, imaging every 6 months, and five years of anti-estrogen therapy. On the right, we would take a wait-and-see approach. Or, I could remove both breasts and avoid extensive follow-up and the worry of watchful waiting.
I was leaning toward the latter and can understand why the number of women choosing mastectomy over today’s standard of care is on the rise.¹ The same protocol has been used for over 30 years and the options are terrifying.
Then I ran into a friend who asked if I had heard of cryoablation, or freezing of the tumor, which was showing impressive results in tumors my size (1.5 cm or smaller). This chance meeting opened a door to a serendipitous path.
CLICK HERE to read the rest of Lauren’s story!