Breast Cancer Treatment Success through Proton Therapy – Jami Sue Mitchell

Jami Sue Mitchell: In November 2015, I went for my annual mammogram, which I do every year, and had my mammogram, and then was told by the nurse that I needed to wait to speak with the radiologist, and the radiologist came in and had found some calcifications and wanted me to have an ultrasound to look at it a little deeper. The next day the radiologist called me at work and said that it was malignant.

I met with Dr. Denise Reybold, the surgeon, and she gave us our options, and we chose to go ahead and have the surgery. During that time, I also met with my cardiologist who informed me that I could not go through with regular radiation because it would blow out my heart valve trouble that I have, and then he suggested the proton therapy.

Dr. John Han-Chih Chang, Medical Director for Oklahoma Proton Center: So, when we’re delivering treatment for breast cancer, there is a potential of causing damage to the lungs and damage to the heart. So, when we talk about the types of radiation that are given, the standard radiation can give anywhere from 5 to 15 grays of radiation to the heart, whereas protons – we can limit it to less than one gray.

Jami Sue Mitchell: They explained to me that I would come in every day – for 10 treatments – and that I would not feel anything, that I would lay on a bed, and that I would be in there for 30, 45 minutes and would receive the protons, and then I would be able to go on with my day, proceed with my day.

My current prognosis is a clean bill of health. I get my mammograms every six months. They’ve all been clean. I’ve continued living my life, playing golf, exercising and enjoying my son, my grandchild. Everything’s good. I would recommend it to anybody.