New procedure ends spine pain caused by breast cancer - Fox 2 News Headlines

New procedure ends spine pain caused by breast cancer

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Doctors monitoring the spinal treatment at St. John Macomb Doctors monitoring the spinal treatment at St. John Macomb
(WJBK) -

When breast cancer spreads to the spine, fighting the cancer can turn into a painful, immobilizing battle. But now there's a new treatment bringing almost instant pain relief.

Adam zuckerman d.o. st john macomb radiologist

Turning 67, Michaelene D'Ambrosio of Centerline is proving she's a fighter. She was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in May. When D'Ambrosio felt severe back pain doctors knew the cancer had spread, causing painful bone-fracturing tumors in her spine.

"I couldn't dress myself. I couldn't move; I couldn't sit; I couldn't stand; I couldn't lay; I couldn't do anything. Many nights I slept in the recliner," D'Ambrosio tells Fox 2's Deena Centofanti.  

While they might not be able to do anything for her stage-four breast cancer the team at St. John Macomb knew they could take away the back pain with a new procedure called star ablation. It uses radio frequency, heat and a needle to get rid of tumor cells in the spine.

"We actually go inside of the bone and we can target the tumor with X-ray, knowing where tumor is we can look on the X-ray, and we can guide the location of our ablation," Dr. Adam Zuckerman, a radiologist at St. John Macomb says.

Video shows D'Ambrosio smiling right after the procedure, noticing a huge difference.

Zuckerman says most patients are able to leave the hospital fairly quickly after the procedure: "No stitches, just a band aid. Patients leave the same day."

While the cancer is still there the pain is not.

"I woke up after the procedure and the pain was gone. It was gone, it was just gone," D'Ambrosio says.

The American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk is this weekend in downtown Detroit. Click here for more information.

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