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Format: 04/16/2014
Format: 04/16/2014


KDKA-TV: Teresa Heinz Kerry treated for breast cancer

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Teresa Heinz Kerry, 71, has breast cancer.

In the fall, she had lumps removed from both breasts. At first they were diagnosed as benign but on second look, doctors found they were malignant.

"There can be very subtle differences that someone might interpret one way or the other," Dr. Tom Julian from Allegheny General Hospital's breast center, said. "Sometimes additional biopsies of the same lesion might find an area that was not sampled previously, and that may be the malignant component of the lesion."

Doctors put titanium clips in the breast tissue and Heinz will receive targeted radiation.

"They can use the titanium clips around the area where the tissue was removed and then the radiation oncologist can perform a CAT scan and identify those clips and then more precisely focus the radiation therapy beams into that area," Julian explained.

With her current treatment, she's expected to have a 95 percent chance of surviving more than 10 years.

Additional treatment with medications would raise that to 99 percent, but she hasn't decided yet, considering her age and potential side effects like muscle and nerve symptoms, hair loss and problems with her digestive system.

To read more, visit the KDKA-TV web site.


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