Seed vs. Wire: Latest in surgery for breast cancer

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Before getting surgery to remove their tumor(s), breast cancer patients must have the area localized by a radiologist so that the surgeon can find the tumor and remove it.

Traditionally, radiologists have implanted wires to localize the tumor on the day of the surgery. Now; however, extremely low-dose radioactive seeds are now being used as an option for tumor localization.

Because wire localization has to be done the day of surgery, it can cause issues with scheduling, as well as add stress on the patient.

Seed localization can be done up to five days before surgery, therefore relieving the stress of having to go to two different places on the day of surgery, as well as scheduling difficulties. Studies have also found that seed localization is improving precision of the tumor removal, sparing more of the healthy, surrounding breast tissue.

Surgeons also find that seed localization improves the ease of the actual procedure.

Seed localization will soon be an option for breast cancer patients here in the community, as a multidisciplinary team of radiologists, surgeons and pathologists within the Cone Health Network and at The Breast Center of Greensboro have been trained, and implemented a program to begin offering this localization method.

Spokesperson Background:
Dr. Beth Brown is a radiologist with the Cone Health Network at The Breast Center of Greensboro Imaging, and a leading expert in breast and body imaging.

Dr. Brown is a 1991 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and completed residency training as an associate chief resident in the Department of Radiology at University of North Carolina Hospitals.

Brown completed her fellowship training in body imaging at Wake Forest University Medical Center in 1999.