New technique for breast biopsies

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Breast cancer is a frightening reality for many people. One First Coast doctor came face-to-face with it when she was diagnosed.

Now, thanks to new technology she's helping to save lives by detecting abnormalities more accurately. The MAYO clinic now offers tomosynthsis guided biopsies. It allows doctors to take a 3-D view of the breast.

It's the first site in state to offer this type of technology and doctors are hopeful it will help in the fight against breast cancer.

Doctor Michelle McDonough serves as the Director of Breast Imaging at the MAYO clinic. For years she's delivered life altering news to patients. But in March of 2006 when it came time to see the results of her own mammogram, the conclusion was unnerving.

"I got my mammogram," said McDonough. "I read it myself."

She saw abnormal calcifications in her breast. Later she found out she had the very earliest stages of breast cancer.

"No one wants to go through it," said McDonough. "But if you do the right things and you take care of yourself everything could turn out good."

She decided to have a bilateral mastectomy to remove the cancer.

"I made that decision, I had the surgery and I didn't look back from there," said McDonough.

Looking ahead she has her hands on the newest technology to hit our state. Tomosynthesis guided biopsy is a technique that takes multiple images of the breast and creates a 3-D image, allowing McDonough to more easily see the same type of abnormalities she once saw in her own breast, in other women.

"It means we can get the patients in and out," said McDonough. "They're less uncomfortable. They don't have to be compressed as long. Their risk of bleeding and all of those things would be less."

McDonough says about 80 percent of her patients who get biopsy's have nothing wrong.


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