COPYRIGHT © 2004
LAURA ROSS-PAUL and ALEX PAUL
WITH DR. PETER LITTRUP
A revolution in breast cancer treatment is going on in this country. The button starting this revolution may have been pushed in 2003 when Dr. Peter Littrup of Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit agreed to use cryoablation to treat my breast cancer. This treatment had been used for years to successfully treat prostate cancer with far less pain and trauma than traditional surgery, as well as far less occurrence of ED and incontinence. And years of research where cryoablation was followed up by a mastectomy proved that it worked. So why was it not being used routinely on women's breasts? Dr. Littrup agreed to give it a try on mine, making me the first woman in America to have cryoablation and save my breast from a mastectomy.
Why did I travel from the west coast all the way across the country to see if I was a good candidate to have my breast frozen? To save it, that's why. I had 3 small tumors in a row. My surgeon told me a mastectomy was my only option. I'm lucky to have a loving husband with amazing internet sleuthing and phone skills. He followed the trail of cryoabalation for prostrate cancer to a woman who runs a phone "hot line" providing treatment information. She had heard a speech by Dr. Littrup suggesting this technique might be good for treating breast cancer. Several phone calls later, I was telling him I was willing to give it a shot. That was seven years ago. Today I am cancer free and still have my "condemned" breast, beautifully looking back at me whenever I choose to take a peak in the mirror.
This website contains a link to a recent news story about Dr. Littrup's work in this field and a link to the Karmanos web site. My book They're Mine and I'm Keeping Them can also be downloaded from this site. It is my story of this experience and is based on my journal. It recounts my emotions and how I physically felt before and after surgery. It includes recollections of the experience by my husband, Alex Paul, who also traveled later to Detroit and interviewed Dr. Littrup and wrote his biography. Dr. Littrupp added to the chapters about himself and provides important information about his research and inventions.
My daughter, Emma Paul, and her friend, Kayla Nebbitt are both pre-med students and served as interns with Dr. Littrup during the summer of 2009, writing a chapter for an upcoming textbook with Dr. Littrup. They have contributed a detailed chapter about the history of breast cancer treatment and the options available today.
During the last seven years I've made it a point to drop whatever I'm doing whenever a woman calls to ask me about having her breast frozen as a treatment option. There have been many heartfelt conversations with women I've never met in person. Many of them have never called me back to let me know what they've decided to do. I believe there is currently enough interest out there to warrant this site to help a woman make her decision if this is the right option for her.
Also to assist in this decision is a short video my talented son and daughter in law, Louie and Amanda Paul, put together of a discussion between myself, my friend who had a lumpectomy about the same time my breasts were frozen, and another woman who had just returned from Detroit where she had the latest and much improved version of this same procedure I pioneered 7 years ago. (It has improved a lot!!).
If you are looking at this website to help you make a decision if cryoablation is for you, I hope the site will help you. I truly believe that cryoablation has added a breast conserving, easy to get through option for breast cancer treatment, and this is REVOLUTIONARY!!!!!