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Renee's Cancer Story

Jun 6, 2019

From breast cancer tumor removal to the dance floor in three days 

Renee Drake, breast cancer/IORT patient, Good Samaritan Medical Center

Our Stories Renee

Recently retired first grade teacher, Renee Drake, has always stayed on top of her health.  At 69 years old, she makes sure to eat right, exercise, and every year like clockwork, she makes an appointment for her annual mammogram.

Following her most recent mammogram, however, Renee did not receive the clean bill of health she is accustomed to. She underwent further testing, including an ultrasound and biopsy, before being told the shocking news that she had breast cancer. Fortunately, since it was caught early, it was extremely treatable. 

Renee was referred to Dr. John Rimmer, a breast surgeon on the medical staff at Good Samaritan Medical Center.  Shortly after their initial consultation, Dr. Rimmer performed surgery to remove Renee’s tumor from her breast, while also utilizing a new treatment option now available at the hospital that is designed to reduce radiation exposure. Through intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), Renee was able to receive a one-time concentrated dose of radiation directly to the tumor bed during surgery, as opposed to the usual method, in which a larger part of the body receives radiation for a longer period of time – typically five days a week for up to six weeks.  

“This new technology is not only more convenient for patients, but may also result in less radiation exposure to nearby organs and tissues,” said Dr. Rimmer. “Renee was a perfect candidate for IORT, and she couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”  

Just hours after surgery, Renee was discharged from the hospital, and merely three days later, she and her husband went out dancing to celebrate her new life – free of cancer.

“I think it’s important to have a positive attitude in life,” she shares. “When you think positively, you ultimately get better results. Cancer is not a death sentence, and it’s important to live life to the fullest every day and enjoy all the time you have on this earth. I know I am.”