ROCHESTER, Minn. - During the Coronavirus Pandemic, some elective and non-emergency medical procedures have been put on hold.
But one thing that hasn't stopped is the need for cancer treatment.
Cancer patients are often at a heightened risk when it comes to the Coronavirus, so some might be hesitant to leave their homes for weeks at a time for treatment.
There's a fast-track treatment option at Mayo Clinic for some breast cancer patients. It's available to low-risk patients with certain types of early stage breast cancer. Women with small breast cancer tumors and no cancer in their lymph nodes have a lumpectomy in an outpatient procedure. They can leave the same day as their surgery with a catheter in place, which is used to administer a form of radiation therapy.
The protocol was actually developed back in 2011, but doctors say it's an excellent option now during the pandemic.
"So this is kind of a natural fit for suitable patients who want to come, be seen in consultation, have their COVID screening testing done, proceed to surgery, wait a day, get their radiation," explained Mayo Clinic cancer surgeon Dr. Tina Hieken.
The whole treatment is complete in less than 10 days.
"The treatment can be delivered in as short a time frame as 5 days, or within 9 days depending upon the exact treatment plan and the exact day of the week that treatment is started," Hieken explained.