Research helped DeCarli beat cancer |

Research helped DeCarli beat cancer

KIMBERLY NICOLETTIsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Doctors diagnosed Pat DeCarli with an agressive form of breast cancer in October of 2001. After much research, she found a new treatment called brachy therapy, and traveled to the University of Wisconsin, where she underwent radiation treatment for five days after doctors removed the cancerous tumor. She followed that with four sessions of chemotherapy and all of her check-ups since have indicated she is cancer free.

BRECKENRIDGE – Pat DeCarli knows how important events such as the Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer are.If research money to treat breast cancer hadn’t been available, she may have lost her breast.Doctors diagnosed DeCarli with an aggressive form of breast cancer in October 2001. Before she researched other forms of treatment, her two choices were: spend six consecutive weeks in Denver for radiation treatment or get a mastectomy.

She was going to choose a mastectomy.Then her friend, a breast cancer surgeon in Florida, found another alternative – Dr. Robert Kuske’s brachy therapy. First, a surgeon removed the cancerous tumor. Then she went to the University of Wisconsin so Dr. Kuske could treat her. He inserted 23 hollow-core needles into the cavity in her breast where the lump had been and shot radiation pellets into it.”Like a big punch, it knocks out all of the cells around it,” she said.

After the five-day treatment, she returned to Summit County and went through four sessions of chemotherapy at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center in Denver.”I think I have a strong constitution because I came through that just like you wouldn’t believe,” she said. “I was never sick a day. Part of it was we had such a support system of friends in Summit County who just inspired me.”For example, a friend lent her a $1,200 wig from Dallas to wear during chemotherapy.

She knows about 40 women in Summit County who have had breast cancer. A group of women, called Bosom Buddies, meets monthly for informational meetings and support. DeCarli participates in the community by telling women about brachy therapy and supporting them through the process.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at

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