Metastatic Breast Cancer: One Patient’s Story of Hope and Survival

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1,800 Nevada women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. Further, the advanced form of the disease known as metastatic breast cancer will occur in 20 to 30 percent of those initially diagnosed with early-stage disease, according to the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network.

Debbie Black, a Nevada resident, is among those whose life has been dramatically impacted by the disease. Initially diagnosed with stage II breast cancer at the age of 30, Black underwent aggressive chemotherapy and hormonal treatment. She was cancer-free for more than a decade until she started experiencing the loss of feeling in the left side of her body.

It was discovered Black’s cancer had come back and spread to her brain. She underwent surgery to remove the majority of the brain tumor, but due to the tumor’s size and proximity to critical anatomy, a small portion had to be left behind. Additionally, it was discovered that a second smaller tumor had formed in her brain. Black’s doctors suggested CyberKnife to treat both the original remaining tumor and the second tumor discovered.

Regarding her CyberKnife treatment, Black says:

“CyberKnife was the most amazing treatment I had ever experienced. It was a piece of cake and walk in the park compared to past treatments I had undergone. The treatment was fast, easy and there was no pain or side effects. The entire Reno CyberKnife staff was wonderful. I’ve almost reached my four-year survivor mark since my last CyberKnife session, and I feel great. I can drive and my independence has not been taken away. I’ve been fighting this disease for nearly 25 years. I didn’t think I would get to see my son graduate elementary school, but I’ve had the opportunity to see him live his life, graduate college and get married. I’m so thankful there is technology like CyberKnife that can help women like me continue living a normal life.”

According to Reno CyberKnife Co-Medical Director Dr. Jonathan Tay, treatment for metastatic breast cancer is ongoing and focuses on control of the disease and preservation of quality of life.

“Mrs. Black’s story is a testament to CyberKnife’s ability to manage and control metastatic disease,” he says.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer that has spread to the brain or lungs, contact us to find out if CyberKnife treatment may be an option for you.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.