Treasure Coast Medical Report
that a single IORT treatment has similar recurrence rates to
weeks of traditional therapy. IORT causes fewer side effects
and is less disruptive to patients’ daily lives.
Fraser was the first patient to undergo IORT at Martin
Health System and it was a grand success. She went in for the
surgery at 7 a.m. and was home by 1:30 p.m. the same day.
The tumor was completely removed and she resumed her
normal lifestyle in a short period of time.
“I only took one pain pill the whole time — it was uncomfortable
— any surgery is, but a root canal is much worse,”
she said. “I was probably back to normal within a week and
I was doing my water aerobic exercises in 2 ½ weeks. I was
very, very lucky.”
CONNIE TITUS — Cancer survivor finds healing through
writing and Dancing At Daybreak
Connie Titus of Fort Pierce was celebrating the Christmas
holidays in 1996 with her husband, Neal, and two children,
when out of the blue, she developed shooting pains in her left
chest. She didn’t pay attention to the warning signs, thinking
that it was heartburn from eating rich foods. But the pains
didn’t go away and her breast became hard, swollen and
tender. A mammogram and an ultrasound showed no signs
“I’m thinking it’s an infection,” she recalled. “Warm compresses
and antibiotics did nothing to relieve the symptoms
within three days.”
Titus scheduled a biopsy with Dr. Michael Costello at
Lawnwood Regional Medical Center. The diagnosis was
staggering: invasive breast cancer, an aggressive, metastatic
disease. Within two days, she had her left breast removed
Dr. Craig Wengler performs IORT surgery at Martin Health System.
and 13 out of 20 lymph nodes were found malignant. More
than 10 is considered fatal, Titus noted.
“I was wondering, ‘Why is the world still spinning, birds
still singing, sun still shining — while my husband weeps?’ ”
she said. >>
In a role reversal,
patient Connie Titus
plays doctor with
Dr. Alan Collin with
the assistance of