‘Seed’ therapy highly accurate in pinpointing breast tumours

November 14th, 2007 - 2:06 am ICT by admin  
“The new technique is less invasive for the patient and allows us to be more precise when removing possible breast-cancer tumours,” said Dr. Roshni Rao, a surgical oncologist who specializes in breast cancer.

Earlier, radiologists would lance a thin, hooked wire into the breast to help guide the surgeon to the location of the mass. The problem with the procedure was that as one end of the wire was lodged at or near the mass, the other end would protrude from the patient’s skin.

Dr. Rao said that the often the surgeons would find that the entry site of the wire was distant from the ideal site where they would prefer to make an incision. She also said that the wire did not always take a direct path to the lesion.

By contrast, the seed procedure has the capability of detecting the location of a non-palpable tumour with more accuracy and more efficiency, said Dr. Rao.

The seed procedure is also advantageous over the wire method because the latter requires patients to undergo the pre-operative procedure just hours before surgery, as if left in longer, the wire could become dislodged.

“With the seed technique, the patient can have the seed inserted up to five days before surgery, any time of day. The seed procedure also increases efficiency in the radiology department since we are not locked into a two-hour window to insert the wire on the day of the surgery,” radiologist Dr. Michael Ulissey said.

Physicians at UT Southwestern Medical Center have used the seed therapy on a 58-year-old patient. With this they have become the first in Texas to use the new technique. (ANI)

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