What if breast cancer surgery could be more effective and easier for patients?
In 2018, the American Cancer Society estimates there will be nearly 270,000 new breast cancer cases. In Illinois alone, about 10,000 individuals will be diagnosed with the disease.
The road from cancer diagnosis to treatment options can be long and exhausting. But what if breast cancer surgery could be more effective and easier for patients?
Wire-free radar technology is doing just that; the technique uses radar to precisely remove tumors. The process begins with a radiologist inserting a small device referred to as a reflector, which is about the size of a grain of rice, into the targeted breast tissue. Then, when it is time to remove the tissue, the surgeon scans the breast using a probe that emits a radar signal to find the reflector in the tissue, allowing for a highly targeted and precise removal of the cancerous tissue and reflector.
“I have had patients who have had a chance to compare the two procedures; the ladies who had wire localization in the past much prefer the new radar technology,” says Dr. Roseanne Krinski, a general surgeon specializing in breast surgery at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Ill. “It is more comfortable and allows the surgeon to achieve a more accurate measure of the distance surrounding the tumor.”
This technology comes with improved flexibility for the patient, as the radar device can be implanted up to a month before the surgical procedure to remove the tissue. Other benefits of radar localization include:
- The ability to locate tumors more precisely
- An increased likelihood of completely removing cancerous tissue
- An avoidance of patient discomfort, as no wire is inserted into the breast
- A reduction in the need for follow-up surgeries
- Improved outcomes with more strategic planning of incision
The radar localization system was recently featured as the 2018 cutting edge technology for breast cancer patients on Good Morning America.
Advocate Health Care offers this technology at six locations – the most of any health system in Illinois. Learn more here.
About the Author
Holly Brenza, health enews contributor, is the public affairs coordinator at Advocate Children's Hospital. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading, watching the White Sox and Blackhawks, playing with her dog, Bear and running her cats' Instagram account, @strangefurthings.