Rod and Ruth Ann James
Rod and Ruth Ann James moved to Chapel Hill in October 2004. They chose Chapel Hill for a variety of reasons not the least of which was the medical care that was available at UNC. Little did they know that just months after moving to the area, Ruth Ann would be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Shortly after diagnosis, it was determined that Ruth Ann would be a good candidate for a new procedure currently in trial called Single Dose Intraoperative Radiotherapy (IORT). This method is an innovative way to offer a more convenient, potentially less toxic course of radiotherapy for patients with small breast cancers who may have difficulty with a daily regimen of whole breast radiation. This new procedure aims to give a patient a lumpectomy, sentinel node biopsy and a single dose of radiation directed into the tumor bed, all in one day. When Ruth Ann had her surgery in July 2006, she underwent IORT therapy as part of her procedure,
Following her surgery, Ruth Ann has been given a clean bill of health and she describes her treatment experience as amazing. She understood the importance of clinical trials and takes comfort that her participation improved her own care, paved the way for better treatments for other cancer patients and may help to save future lives.
Rod and Ruth Ann decided they wanted to do whatever they could to help this important research so each year they make contributions to support Dr. Carolyn Sartor, Ruth Ann’s doctor and the principal investigator of the IORT trial.