How freezing my breast saved my breast

They’re Mine and I’m Keeping Them is a story of innovation, courage, and triumph


After her breast cancer diagnosis in 2003, Artist Laura Ross-Paul faced the prospect of a mastectomy. But in her book They’re Mine and I’m Keeping Them,  Laura tells the story of how she bucked the system, found a doctor with advanced skill in the field of tumor freezing, and ultimately saved her breast. The continued success of her cryo-ablation treatment makes breast conservation a viable and realistic outcome of breast cancer treatment.

Laura hopes her story will help patients and doctors alike to see that freezing a breast can save a breast. Her wish is for cryo-ablation to become more well-known and more readily available for others.

“I’m very grateful to have had the chance to be the brilliant Dr. Peter Littrup’s first patient to have my breast cancer frozen with his triple-probe, double-freeze cryo-ablation method in 2003…”

—Laura Ross-Paul


They're Mine & I'm Keeping Them

They're Mine and I'm Keeping Them

“They’re Mine and I’m Keeping Them” is a story of innovation, courage, and triumph. Laura Ross-Paul is a well-known Northwest painter. A breast cancer diagnosis in 2003 left her with a mastectomy as her only medical option. Her artist’s appreciation of the human form’s beauty instilled a desire to keep her breast and treat her cancer if it was safe and medically possible.

This is the story of how Laura Ross-Paul and her husband Alex Paul bucked the system and found Dr. Peter Littrup, a radiologist doing advanced research in the field of tumor freezing. Dr. Littrup performed cryo-ablation to freeze the tumors, making Laura the first woman in the United States to undergo cryo-ablation and avoid a mastectomy.

The success of this collaboration, this book, and Laura’s subsequent internet activism to help other women receive this treatment have helped pave the way for the use of cryo-ablation for breast cancer which is now spreading across the country.

The China Story

Learn how the Chinese have added innovations to Cryo-ablation

“In March of 2010 I had cryosurgery for stage 2 breast cancer.…It is fast, not very painful and non-mutilating.”

—Mary Libal

“Fuda Cancer Hospital’s medical technique has brilliant technology that no part in the Medical world is offering to me as a breast cancer patient… a painless, worry free treatment. I am very hopeful I’ll walk out of this hospital “Cancer Free.”

—Fe Juan Zahorodniuk

“… At my five-year anniversary (of cryosurgery) I am still cancer free and I still have my breasts!”

—Heather Hines