Bay Area surgeon views breast cancer treatment from new angle

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A Bay Area surgeon is viewing the ordeal of breast cancer treatment from a new angle, and it's given her a fresh look at technologies and strategies that can help in recovery.

For Bay Area plastic surgeon Dr. Anne Peled, reaching the finish line of this 10K run involved twists and turns she never expected.

Just a few months earlier, Peled was diagnosed with breast cancer. "It hit me so strongly," she said. "Thinking about going to the operating room day in and day out and doing the exact same surgery on other people that I was going to have done on myself."

RELATED: Implant acts like GPS after cancer surgery

In fact, we first met Peled as she was preparing to go into the operating room last year at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

She showed us a small device she believes can improve the effectiveness of post-surgical breast cancer treatments like radiation.

It's a small implant called BioZorb, which is placed in the cavity after a tumor is removed.

Tiny titanium pins imbedded in the implant act like a kind of GPS, guiding radiation treatments to the cavity site with increased precision, as we saw last year.

California Pacific Medical Center's Dr. John Lee said, "It allows us to aim the radiation at exactly where the tumor was, but at the same time avoid the structures like the heart the lungs the ribs that are next to it, that might be damaged."
And shortly after her own diagnosis, Peled made the same choice for herself -- having the technology she's implanted in others placed in her chest.

My radiologist was so excited Biozorb was there, because the field that she made for my treatment was smaller than it would have been otherwise," she said.

Peled says the experience also taught her other valuable lessons about recovery, including the psychological power of breast reconstruction -- and the healing power of exercise.

A triathelete and distance runner, Peled says she decided to sign up for the 10K race not long after her successful surgery.

"It was a major part of my life before but now it's one of the things I'm doing to make sure I live a long, long time from this. And I tell my patients the same thing," she said.

Peled also points out that the implant can give women advantages moving forward with breast cancer screening.

Written and produced by Tim Didion

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