In this health video learn how it can take months to find out if a woman's breast cancer treatment is even working. A new scanner can give results in days.
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Jennifer Matthews: Joanne Nevison was calm after learning she had breast cancer. Then, she talked to her surgeon. Joanne Nevison: That's when reality hit home, and she told me my whole breast is pretty much cancer. Jennifer Matthews: She started chemotherapy. But Dr. Greg Czarnota says it can take months to know if a particular type of chemo is effective. Greg Czarnota: Potentially, up to 70% of the people receiving this type of chemotherapy may not be deriving a benefit. Jennifer Matthews: Now, he's studying a device that uses light-scattering technology to track treatment. Greg Czarnota: Rather than giving someone six months of ineffective chemotherapy and then you run out of time because the disease has progressed, you may be able to very quickly switch it to a type of chemotherapy that works Jennifer Matthews: The laser scans the breast to determine metabolic activity in the tissue. Instead of months, the laser can reveal if chemo is working within days. Greg Czarnota: To be able to have this technology and use it to customize someone's chemotherapy could mean the difference, to be honest between life and death. Jennifer Matthews: This red areas shows Joanne cancer before chemo. Just 7 days later, it clear. Her chemo is working. Greg Czarnota: I think it's the way of the future. Jennifer Matthews: After her first round of chemo, Joanne had a mastectomy. She's now getting a second round to keep her cancer in check. Joanne Nevison: I thank God for all this research and technology that they have. Jennifer Matthews: Joanne is thankful she was in the study and hopes more women will soon benefit from the research. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.