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Intrabeam Breast Cancer Treatment

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Posted 10/13/2014

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When Marcia's doctor found a lump during a routine exam, she was hopeful it would turn out to be nothing. Unfortunately, it turned out to be breast cancer. Looking for more options and a second opinion, she met with breast cancer surgeon Dr. James Edney at The Nebraska Medical Center. He told her about a new procedure called Intrabeam. Instead of the traditional breast conservation surgery treatment which typically requires a 12-week course of surgery and radiation, Dr. Edney explained that the surgery and radiation could be handled almost simultaneously. Instead of 12 weeks, Marcia was looking at about 90 minutes in an operating room. "It sounded really good," she said. "I said sign me up!" With Intrabeam, the surgeon removes the cancerous lump, and inserts a special bulb-shaped applicator into the cavity where the tumor was before. The applicator delivers a low dose of radiation to the area where the tumor was located, and its surrounding margins. The Nebraska Medical Center and its research partner, UNMC have been involved with Intrabeam since its clinical trials several years ago. There were four medical centers in the U.S. taking part in that trial. The Nebraska Medical Center was one of them. Dr. Edney believes this type of treatment will become much more common in the years ahead. "I think this is a game changer," Dr. Edney said. "It will allow more women to have breast conservation than would otherwise avail themselves of it." Marcia is six weeks past her surgery and back at work. She's undergoing chemotherapy in hopes of staving off a recurrence of the cancer. She's very glad she asked for that second opinion. "It was by saying 'I really want a second opinion,' and I came to Dr. Edney through a referral from a friend who was very pleased," Marcia said. "And I was so excited when I heard there was this option. Because I had no idea and it made a huge difference for me." For more information about breast cancer, visit or call 1-800-922-0000. To make an appointment with Dr. Edney, visit