LANNON, Wis. — The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin regional health network is working to advance care for patients battling cancer.
After missing a mammogram due to COVID-19 back in 2020, a Wisconsin woman found out she had breast cancer after waiting nearly six months to reschedule her appointment.
Linda Lavold found out she had breast cancer in 2020. She said it was something she never thought she would go through.
“It wasn’t a lot of fear and trepidation,” Lavold said. “I just knew I had to get things done, and I just hit the ground running and that was just the basis for everything.”
She said she was determined to fight. Not long after her diagnosis she found out that she was a fit for a clinical trial going on at Froedtert. It involved a different approach to radiation and using a machine that pinpoints the cancer for a more direct treatment of a tumor.
“It’s much shorter. I think I had six treatments rather than 30 that normal people would have,” she said. “They were intense, but it was worth it. I loved it.”
The trial was able to cut down the amount of times she had to go in for treatment by less than half. For Lavold, that meant a lot to her so she could continue her active lifestyle.
She received radiation before her surgery, which is not something normally done according to doctors. Her radiation before surgery was done with the Linac machine, which specializes in pinpointing treatment at cancerous tumors.
Dr. Amanda Kong is an oncologist with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. She was Lavold’s doctor, and she said trials like these are helping to advance care for patients.
“In my career over the past 14 years doing breast surgery we went from maximally aggressive surgery in the armpit to now really doing more minimally invasive surgery,” Kong said. “Which translates through less arm swelling for patients and better quality of life and that was only possible through these trials.”
The trial and treatment has allowed Lavold to spend more time with her nine grandkids, which is something extremely special to her.
“It truly is a blessing from the Lord. I don’t have any other answers. It’s really important to have an influence on their lives and be around and be able to relate to them,” Lavold said.
She now has many more years to spend with her family by her side.