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Cancer in the cross hairs

A thimble-sized coil allowed Kimberly Clifton, an avid East Mountain horsewoman, to deal with her breast cancer with less pain and more options for treatment.

“I was the first member of my family to have any type of cancer, so I really didn’t know what to expect. The lumpectomy went really well. I had a small tumor and I wanted to get it taken care of as soon as possible,” Clifton, 67, said of her surgery and radiation therapy this past summer. “It’s definitely a procedure I would recommend.”

The surgically implanted device called BioZorb dissolves, but leaves six eyelash-sized titanium markers in the three-dimensional space that marks where the tumor was removed, said Albuquerque surgeon Dr. Linda Ann Smith, one of the key researchers to demonstrate the effectiveness of the device.

Hope for Breast Cancer Survival with Dr.Linda Smith

Last week on The Morning Brew, a local Albuquerque weekday morning show, Dr. Linda Ann Smith sat down with host Dan Mayfield to talk about the huge improvements in quality of care and life for breast cancer patients.

One of the most important approaches to treating breast cancer is still early detection. Having regular breast exams (checking for lumps) and mammography are the two best measures women can take in detecting breast cancer early and mitigating the risks involved in treatment. Being able to find tumors early can increase survival rates to as high as 95% in most patients.

There have been huge advancements in treatment through imaging techniques as well as testing for cancer genetics. There are now over 40 different genes that can be tested for an increased risk of cancer where only two genes were know in the past. Also through technology like the BioZorb marker doctors are able to direct radiation therapy specifically to where the tumor/cancer was located. This targeted treatment decreases the chance of heart and lung disease, rib fractures and shoulder issues in patients that in the past were far more common.

To learn more about Dr. Smith, breast cancer treatment and preventative measures watch the video above.

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