Battling Breast Cancer With A Tumor Removal
Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in America and is second in death rate only to lung cancer. With breast cancer, cells multiply uncontrollably, creating a tumor that can affect other parts of the body if left untreated. After a biopsy, a lab tests the sample to determine the stage and treatment options. Many women require surgery called a lumpectomy or breast-conserving surgery. Recently, more surgeons have been turning to localizer technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of surgery.
Down to the wire
The goal of lumpectomy is to remove parts of the affected breast, and sometimes, some nearby tissue. For most cases, locating the tumor is straightforward. However, there are some cases where the cancer is difficult to identify or reach with standard tools. To fix this, the doctor will perform wire-guided localization. An ultrasound helps to guide a needle to the tumor. Once there, the doctor marks the spot with a thin wire through the needle. The wire stays in place with a small hook, which helps the surgeon perform a lumpectomy later.
Planting the seed of success
Wire localization is, and continues to be, the chosen method for identifying the tumor. Instead of the wire, some surgeons will opt for a simpler, more effective way to perform a lumpectomy. Recent localizer technology allows for the cells to be located for future removal without wires. The radiologist uses a needle and ultrasound to insert a small chip called a radioactive seed. The technology allows the surgical team to identify the location and complete the lumpectomy. Using localizer technology has 3 key benefits for patients.
1. An efficient and effective surgical process
With a wire-guided localization, there are a lot of moving parts. The patient will have to schedule a visit to the radiologist to insert the wire. The surgical team will then have to follow the wire and perform the lumpectomy. This procedure must align with the surgeons and takes some coordination. Scheduling between all 3 parties can increase time, effort and reduce efficiency. With localizer technology, the patient can go straight to surgery without the need for wire prep.
2. Localizer technology reduces pain and discomfort
One of the biggest obstacles for breast cancer patients is the wire inside the breast. The lead can be painful, uncomfortable, and creates added anxiety. Furthermore, the wire can break or shift before the procedure creating more pain and an inaccurate surgery. By inserting the seed, patients feel no pain and can go about business as usual. Because coordination will be easier between medical teams, surgery is more efficient, faster, and less painful. The patient experience is much improved.
3. Less tissue removed means a higher success rate
At the point of surgery, the team has a handheld device that picks up the signal of the seed. On locating the signal, the team then makes a small incision near the probe. The surgeons can then follow the probe, removing both the impacted mass and the seed. This makes the procedure easy for all involved and even affects the success rate. Research has shown that localizer technology is just as effective as wire-guided localization.
Receive all the benefits of a tiny seed
Surgery using localizer technology has tremendous benefits for breast cancer patients. The process is already stressful, so this technology removes another painful, stressful step. With localizer technology, the procedure is faster, less painful, and more efficient. Furthermore, the surgery is not dependent on the timing of wire-guided localization. The patient can leave the radiologist and come back for surgery another day. Speak to the surgeon or radiologist about the possibility of localizer technology.