Dr. runs marathon to battle breast cancer
Oct 13, 2013 / 5:21 pm
Sunday morning in Kelowna thousands of runners hit the pavement to challenge themselves in the 19th annual BMO Okanagan Marathon.
One particular runner, and Kelowna Oncologist, Dr. Juanita Crook was running for her own mission. Not to win the marathon but to win the battle against breast cancer.
She tells Castanet she was thrilled to cross the finish line after collecting pledges totaling $77,000 for a new program to treat breast cancer at the Kelowna Cancer Centre.
“The program that I want to keep going (She has treated ten women so far) is a different way of giving radiation for breast cancer. Usually the whole breast is treated and it takes several weeks…but the program we’re developing is much shorter than that,” explains Dr. Crook.
Crook explains that usually radiation therapy for woman after having a lumpectomy takes up 5 weeks and often removes the woman from her home, job, and family. This new treatment is efficient, effective and quick.
“It is only one hour in an operating room where we put little radioactive seeds into the area of the breast where the lump (cancer) was removed; and these radioactive seeds are like time release capsules.
She can then go home the same day and over the next two months the radiation is delivered to where it needs to be. It is much more convenient and it is very effective,” explains Crook.
The $77,000 she raised will go directly to this program and getting as many women in the door as possible within the next year.
“It’s almost enough money to keep this program going for a whole year, which will give us enough experience and enough of a population sample that we can then make a case to have this as a standard offering for all woman who come in for radiation,” explains Crook.
Crook has been oncologist for prostate cancer in men for many years, where this form treatment is already assessable, so it was the perfect for her to make this available to women as well.
“My focus is curing patients and letting them get on with their lives and putting the cancer behind them. So you want an effective treatment that doesn’t leave many side-effects so they can truly be free of the cancer and be cured,” says Crook.
If you are interested in this program or want more information on donation click here.
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