Joy Taylor is about to have a lumpectomy. Her doctor is using a new FDA approved device that helps beast cancer patients avoid additional surgery.
"The process of this is frightening enough - the last thing I want to do is do it twice."
The margin-probe system is able to detect cancerous cells on the edges of removed tumor tissue so doctors know if they're getting all the cancer.
It takes just a few minutes for the device to detect the different electrical signals that malignant and healthy cells give off - and determine whether there is a safe, clean margin.
"So there is one area where I definitely feel like I should take a little bit more."
Doctors estimate 30%-60% of early stage breast cancer patients will need repeat surgery after a lumpectomy.
The margin probe is used together with traditional methods including ultrasound and visual inspection of the breast tissue. And it's making a difference.
"Everybody has been beyond helpful and kind."
She's thankful test results show her doctor got all the cancer the first time around.
Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California is one of six hospitals around the country using the MarginProbe device. It's expected to become more widely available later this year.
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