KODE Medical Focus: Breast Cancer Testing Abnormalities

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JOPLIN, Mo. — We continue our focus on Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Tonight — what happens to a patient when early testing results in something not normal.

“There’s a lot that plays in to different types of cancer, and what kind of treatment is offered,” said Marcella Sowell, Breast Cancer Patient Navigator.

And that regular mammogram is the start. If there’s something new in the results, it could lead to further testing.

“We usually call the patient back for more compression views and diagnostic views and ultrasound to see if this is something concerning or this is by findings,” said Dr. Jane Seto: Freeman Radiologist.

And ultrasound can help, testing that doesn’t require compression or radiation. It’s often used with dense breast tissue.

“It has the X-ray beams and it’s very good for detecting calcifications, or for dense breasts with the tissue is also dense and the tumor is also dense, so sometimes the tumor can hide in this dense tissue without seen on the mammogram,” said Dr. Seto.

Many of the issues with those patients are benign, with a much smaller number needing further testing.

“It’s about, maybe I would say on average five to 7% of the patients will be called back. So, majority of the patients will actually go back to their yearly screening,” said Dr. Seto.

A patient without a firm diagnosis may then get a biopsy, which could be a stereotactic core biopsy.

“The technology that the computer use 3D spatial calculation to detect the target and tells us how deep we go in under the skin, so it’s usually reserved for calcifications sometimes small masses that cannot be seen with ultrasound we can use that too,” said Dr. Seto.

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