The Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center (ECCC) at Cabell Huntington Hospital is introducing the latest technology in diagnosing and treating breast cancer. 3D-guided breast biopsy offers more accurate, faster and more comfortable means of obtaining a tissue sample for quick diagnosis.
“3D-guided breast biopsy offers an alternative to more invasive surgical biopsies,” said Jack Traylor, MD, surgeon at the ECCC and an associate professor in
the Department of Surgery at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. “While we have had 3D mammography since 2012, we have not been able to biopsy lesions seen on 3D. This technology allows us perform needle biopsies in patients we have had to take to the operating room in the past. ECCC at Cabell is the only hospital in the Tri-State and only one of two in the state of West Virginia offering this option of tissue extraction which means we can confirm clearer, more definitive diagnosis.”
A 3D-guided biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses X-ray imaging to guide the physician directly to the lesion in the breast that cannot be seen with standard 2D digital mammography.
“3D allows us to get a sample of the lesion, that may be deep within the breast tissue, without using surgery,” Traylor explained. “Early detection is essential and increases treatment options and the likelihood of successful recovery. The entire procedure lasts less than 20 minutes and patients can return to normal activities within 24 hours.”
During a 3D-guided breast biopsy, the patient’s breast is compressed (similar to a mammography exam) while a 3D mammographic technique is used to locate the mass. Once located, a local anesthetic numbs the area and a needle is inserted to extract tissue samples. The actual biopsy, once the patient is positioned, takes approximately one to two minutes.
Once the samples are removed, they are evaluated by a pathologist for diagnosis. “This targeted guidance allows us to obtain a specimen accurately, quickly, so a diagnosis can be made and we can begin the appropriate treatment,” Traylor said, noting that past procedures involved making an incision, leaving behind scarring or abnormal shape.