CHICAGO (CBS) — Chances are you know someone who’s been diagnosed with breast cancer. But something you might not know: Chemo and radiation aren’t the only ways to treat it anymore.
CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman introduces us to a patient who is bypassing both.READ MORE: 8-Year-Old Girl Dies After Being Shot In Head In Little Village; Man Critically Wounded
“I didn’t know that a pill was an option,” Pat Maher says.
But that’s what she’s taking to prevent future tumor growth.
This summer, her husband urged her to ask her doctor about a change in the shape of her breast.
Because the physicians at Lutheran General’s Caldwell Breast Center found Stage 2 Cancer.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Winter Weather Advisory Issued For Illinois, 1-3 Inches Possible
Maher may have been on chemo 10 years ago, based on the size of the tumor. But progress means they can tailor treatment — all thanks to a test of the tumor.
It looks at makeup of tumor,” Heidi Memmel, director of breast surgery, said. “She was in the low-risk range.”
So it was the pill approach for Maher, after a partial mastectomy.
If it had been something more, like radiation, there are advances there, too.
The objective of this technology to minimize exposure.
“When it’s caught early, it’s absolutely curable,” Memmel said.MORE NEWS: 1 Dead, 3 Others Injured After Crash In Parking Lot In Waukegan
Profiling a woman’s cancer and targeting radiation are just snapshots of progress in breast cancer treatment. As Maher said, there are so many survivors, including her, and that’s reason to hope.