Dignity Health | hello Healthy | Fall 2019

HelloHealthy | Fall 2019 5 Meet Dr. Tambar Stuti Tambar, MD, earned her medical degree from the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences University in Buffalo, New York. She trained in breast surgical oncology at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. Her specialties include nipple-sparing mastectomy, breast reconstruction, ultrasound- guided lumpectomy, sentinel lymph node biopsy, and axillary node dissection. Dr. Tambar enjoys family time, cake decorating, knitting, multimedia animation, digital photo editing, gardening, cooking, baking, and crafts. HOW it’s done Performing IORT involves a few steps. In brief: ●  ● After Dr. Tambar removes the cancer, she inserts an inflatable balloon into the space where the tumor was located. ●  ● The energized balloon delivers a full course of radiation inside the breast. ●  ● A radiation team remains in the room during the treatment. ●  ● Once all the radiation has been delivered, Dr. Tambar removes the balloon and closes the incision. Studies from Europe, where IORT has been available for several years, show that IORT is just as good as standard whole-breast radiation in appropriate patients. “There’s no higher risk of breast cancer recurrence with IORT,” Dr. Tambar notes. WHO is eligible Typical candidates have early-stage, nonaggressive cancers located in the center of the breast. IORT cannot be given if the breast cancer is located too close to the skin or the chest wall, which sometimes can’t be determined until the time of the surgery. The therapy also cannot be given if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. Other advantages of IORT include: ●  ● Fewer side effects, such as skin discoloration, than with whole-breast radiation. ●  ● A woman could still have breast-sparing radiation treatment again, should the cancer return in the same breast. A lumpectomy always carries a small risk of recurrence. But if cancer returns after a woman has had whole-breast radiation, the only option may be to remove the breast. Dr. Tambar received special training in IORT during a breast surgery fellowship. “I wanted to bring this therapy to the Bakersfield community because it works. It’s accepted internationally,” she says. “I think it’s a very important part of breast cancer care that needs to be in the community.” Here when you need us We’re here for you at every stage of your cancer journey. Visit dignityhealth.org/bakersfield/ cancercare or call to find an expert in cancer care: 661.865.2573 . “It is a one-time treatment given at the time of the breast surgery in the operating room. It takes about 20 to 40 minutes. And once it’s finished, you will not need any more radiation.” —Stuti Tambar, MD