New advances improve cancer screening and treatment
Earliest possible detection of breast cancer has always been a critical step in providing more successful treatment for the millions of women affected. Wellington Regional Medical Center is proud to announce the addition of new and innovative technology to aid in the ongoing battle against breast cancer. These advances in technology continue to make screening and treatment more effective than ever and help women live longer, healthier lives.
To help find cancers earlier, Wellington Regional Medical Center’s Comprehensive Women’s Imaging Center has added advanced 3D mammography equipment as part of a facility-wide renovation. 3D imaging, also known as tomosynthesis, is superior to conventional 2D mammography because it takes more X-ray images at different levels, providing more detail without adding additional radiation.
In addition to providing earlier detection, 3D mammography also may reduce callbacks for repeat screening and the anxiety and expense they cause women. 3D mammography is used to assist stereotactic breast biopsies if an abnormality is found. It even allows biopsies to be performed while patients with limited mobility are seated or lying down.
To support customized care and identify the safest, most effective treatment plan, a multidisciplinary team of doctors and specialists meets regularly and reviews each patient’s care. Under the leadership of the Medical Director of the Comprehensive Breast Center, surgeon Andrew Shapiro, MD, Wellington Regional will offer patients the full spectrum of options for their care. Also, an oncology nurse specialist, Sonia Polack, RN, MSN, has joined the team as a new breast care navigator to provide extra guidance and support.
Early detection matters
According to the American Cancer Society,* the five-year relative survival rate for women with stage 0 or stage I breast cancer is close to 100 percent; and for women with stage II breast cancer, the five-year relative survival rate is about 93 percent.
Providing high-tech compassionate care
SAVI SCOUT®: Going wireless with surgical treatment
New wireless technology has revolutionized the process for patients needing a lumpectomy or surgical biopsy, supporting a more comfortable experience and better outcomes. In the past, patients were required to go to the hospital early on the day of their procedure to have a wire placed, which protruded from their breast until the biopsy was completed. Using the wireless SAVI SCOUT® Surgical Guidance System, surgeons implant a tiny device, called a reflector, in the breast, up to 30 days before the procedure, which precisely identifies the surgical site.
Surgeons are now able to more accurately pinpoint the tumor and preserve healthy breast tissue, increasing the rate of complete cancer removal, and decreasing the potential for follow-up surgeries. When Cynthia Juarbe needed a diagnostic biopsy, she was reassured by the greater precision the new system offered. “I thought it was going to hurt, but it didn’t,” says Juarbe of having the reflector placed. She was grateful to receive care that was “a lot easier and less painful.”
IORT: Radiation mission accomplished – in one single session
Violet McDonough, 77, has always had her annual mammograms faithfully – “even in the same month.” Everything was fine until her most recent mammogram showed an abnormality. She was referred to breast surgeon Kathleen Minnick, MD, Medical Director of IORT, and was determined to be a candidate for a procedure known as intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT). This allows doctors to perform a lumpectomy and one-time radiation all in one single session, instead of requiring multiple radiation treatments, as with traditional therapy. Women over 50 who have a small, low-grade, early tumor can be considered for IORT.
“There was nothing to it, really,” says McDonough regarding the outpatient procedure. “There was a little discomfort, other than that I was good. I didn’t have to go back and get any other treatment, that was a plus.” IORT is an example of how technology is helping to lessen the negative effects of treatment. Dr. Minnick says,
“It’s about giving people their life back and making sure it’s a good quality of life.”
Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if minimally invasive surgery is right for you.