Meet early-stage breast cancer survivor Linda Schuk and hear her story.
July was a significant milestone, as it was the 10th anniversary of the first patient receiving the AccuBoost treatment. It seems only like yesterday that in July 2007 Linda Schuk, an energetic 61-year paralegal, visited the Texas Cancer Clinic in San Antonio to start her course of radiation therapy with AccuBoost. She was diagnosed with breast cancer the year before and had gone through two episodes of surgery to completely remove the cancerous tissue.
Fast forward to July 2017, Linda is still living in San Antonio. She is cancer-free and is enjoying simple pleasures of life such as attending her grandson’s high school graduation. As a ten-year breast cancer survivor, Linda believes that there are valuable lessons to share with other women embarking on a similar journey. With that objective in mind, she agreed to sit down for an interview:
Q: It takes some courage to be the first person to be treated with a new technology. Can you tell us what it was like to volunteer to be the first?
The minute that I learned that the procedure directs radiation to the intended site and avoids exposure to the surrounding tissue, I knew that this technology was right for me.
Q: Any thoughts about the team of healthcare providers that helped you and guided you through the treatment.
I am lucky that I lived in San Antonio and had access to the best healthcare professionals. Dr. Brad Prestige and his staff were the best. I felt privileged to be offered to be treated with AccuBoost.
Q: It has been a while since your treatment, do you remember the experience? Can you share what the treatment felt like?
There is something about fighting cancer that stays with you and you don’t forget. I recall that the treatment was not bad at all. Although I had prepared myself for worse, I did not find the treatment to be uncomfortable. The pressure was nowhere near the ordinary mammogram. It was about half. I recommend it to all women. I feel sorry for those who don’t have access to this procedure. I wish you could hurry up and make AccuBoost available for all women – everywhere.
Q: Do you have any message for women your age?
Make sure you get your yearly mammograms. Don’t put it off! Don’t allow the discomfort dissuade you. Thanks to a routine mammogram, my breast cancer was discovered early and I got a second chance to live.
“I wish you could hurry up and make AccuBoost available for all women. Everywhere!” – Linda Schuk
Q: Tell us about the look and feel of the breast. Are you pleased with the cosmetic outcome?
The treated breast is a little more tender than the other one – but nothing that I complain about. I am thrilled with the appearance, as people around me cannot tell that I have had breast cancer.
Q: Anything else to share?
My heart goes out to women who don’t have access to this [AccuBoost] technology.