Hartford HealthCare patient: New breast cancer treatment is a game changer
A new procedure in breast cancer treatment, first used in the state at St. Vincent's Medical Center, may help some patients avoid painful treatments.
Mitzi and Ron Barhorst have been married for 32 years. But when Mitzi Barhorst found out she had breast cancer in January, their lives took a sudden turn.
"Cancer is a big, scary word," said Mitzi Barhorst.
Mitzi Barhorst came to St. Vincent's Medical Center in April and became the first patient in the state to have a new procedure called Magtrace.
"We looked at each other and I went ‘We're doing it?’ and he goes ‘You are doing it," said Mitzi Barhorst, as she sat with her husband Ron Barhorst.
Magtrace is a magnetically detectable liquid designed to flow through your lymphatic system and precisely locate the areas most likely to contain cancer.
"Having the Magtrace has just been, for me, it was just a game changer because I didn't go through a lot of the things people go through when they have the breast cancer," said Barhorst.
Magtrace can avoid removal of your lymph nodes and can avoid chemotherapy and radiation.
"If the procedure is not necessary and can be avoided without compromising, you know, patient care, that's always a positive thing," said Dr. Valerie Brutus, breast surgeon at Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at St. Vincent's Medical Center.
Barhorst says her recovery was quick, and after a mastectomy she is now cancer free.
"I'm back to normal, we travel," said Barhorst.
Doctors say Magtrace is only for patients with stage zero breast cancer.