Jul 18, 2014 7:58 PM by Annie Snead
There's a more targeted way to treat early stage breast cancer and it's happening right here in Southern Colorado.
"Everything turned out beautifully and here I am," said Emilie Fiedler.
Fiedler is now a two time breast cancer survivor.
She had it several years ago, and she found out she had it again through a mammogram.
Just a few weeks ago she was the first to undergo a new radiation treatment at Memorial Hospital.
"There's only a couple places in the state that offer this so we're very excited to be the first in Southern Colorado to have this technology," said. Dr. Laura Pomerenke.
Dr. Pomerenke says traditionally patients undergo lumpectomy - followed by sometimes six weeks of radiation therapy.
In this procedure, a special balloon device is inserted delivering radiation directly to the area.
"By placing that balloon into the cavity at the time of the surgery we're sure that we're treating the appropriate area and sometimes we can do that in just on treatment versus multiple weeks." said Pomerenke.
A huge help for women like Emilie, who says going back and forth to the hospital the first time, was a big hassle.
"It gave me three weeks of radiation all at once and that was it," said Fiedler.
"It's expanding our ability to care for patients not just locally but for the women who live in Alamosa, and Pueblo and La Junta," added Pomerenke.
Who can't always go back and forth for weeks.
Dr. Pomerenke says it's all about making the treatment better, curing cancer, and decreasing the recurrence rates.
"It's another step in making this disease better treated and less scary for women," she said.
"I felt very good about what happened and I told Dr. Laura that and we hugged each other," Fiedler added.
Not all patients can get the treatment.
Doctors look at a lot of different factors, including women who are 60 and older, who are low risk with smaller tumors.