New treatment in Norfolk pinpoints cancer cells

NORFOLK, Va (WAVY) — Women with breast cancer have a new option for treatment in Norfolk that allows doctors to better target the bad cells and save the healthy ones.

Bon Secours DePaul Cancer Institute told WAVY.com they are the first in Hampton Roads to use the new 3-D technology. Medical Director Dr. Bradley Prestidge said, “It makes our job easier, and more importantly, it allows more precision in the treatment.”

Biozorb is a 3-D implant that gives doctors a target at which to shoot radiation beams.

“There’s less normal tissue radiated, which usually translates into less complications for the patients,” Dr. Prestidge said.

There should be less pain, less scaring and the shape of the device helps support the tissue, so it heals and looks better, Surgeon Dr. Charles Ives said.

“We are able to specifically place this marker right where the tumor was and stitch it in place so it won’t move,” Ives said.

The plastic looking part of the device will dissolve within about a year, but the titanium clips will stay behind. “And when patients have subsequent x-rays [and] mammograms, the area can be looked at particularly to make sure there’s no obvious change taking place,” Dr. Ives said.

Patient Annie Heichel had one implanted a few weeks ago. “I know it’s there only because they told me. I can’t feel it. It doesn’t wiggle or jiggle,” she told WAVY.com.

And if all goes well, she won’t feel much of anything else when her treatments begin in a week or two.

Like with anything implanted, there is always a risk of infection, but that is minimal. The FDA approved BioZorb three years ago, but doctors are just beginning to use it.

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