A new procedure may improve the diagnosis of breast cancer.
As many as 1.6 million breast biopsies are done in the United States every year as doctors try to rule out, or diagnosis breast cancer. Now, some radiologists are using technology that may allow them to more precisely target suspicious areas during a 20 minute outpatient procedure.
Fifty-year-old Lisa Smith eats right and lives a healthy lifestyle every day. It's one way she's getting her life back on track as she wraps up her breast cancer treatment.
Lisa's doctors diagnosed her cancer at an early stage.They were among the first in the country to use a new 3D biopsy system.
Radiologist Dr. Debbie Bennet says, "Before the Affirm System came along there wasn't a great way to biopsy abnormalities that we could only see on the 3D mammogram."
The big difference for patients? They are lying face down with their breast exposed through an opening. Technicians work underneath.
"If a patient is lying on their back, their breast is actually going to be very flat. What we need is to be able to spread the tissue apart so we can precisely pinpoint one area of the breast." Dr. Bennet explains.
A computerized unit under the table help doctors accurately direct the biopsy needle. A tiny hole in the tip allows them to remove a tissue sample about the size of a grain of rice. Although Lisa's biopsy showed she was positive she was glad the testing process was precise.
Researchers in Europe were among the early test sites for Affirm. They say doctors are able to visualize more tissue and conduct a faster procedure than traditional mammogram-guided biopsy.