Sinclair Cares: New technology helps doctors and patients in fight against breast cancer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.
In Thursday's Sinclair Cares, Jennifer Gilbert reports some new technology is helping both doctors and patients in the fight against breast cancer.
25 years ago, Tammy Taylor faced what many woman fear after a lump was discovered in her breast.
“I was very very scared. I was,” said Taylor.
That fear was very real, considering Tammy's loss, just one year earlier.
“My mom died from breast cancer when she was 50,” said Taylor.
Tammy was determined to fight.
She underwent surgery with a common method that surgeons use to locate the tumor, a wire inserted in the breast.
“It was like a science fiction kind of thing to have this sticking out of you,” said Taylor.
Tammy's tumor, turned out to be benign.
But earlier this year, another lump, and this time it was cancer.
“Right off the bat, as soon as I found out, I started thinking about what my mom went through,” said Taylor.
Tammy would have to undergo another surgery.
This time, she was in the hands of Dr. Dona Hobart, medical director of the Lifebridge Health Breast Care Centers in Maryland.
This year, Hobart became the first surgeon in Maryland to use a new technology that makes things easier for doctor and patients.
“It simply allows us to find the bad part of the breast that needs to come out,” said Hobart.
The new technology uses wireless radiofrequency identification, or RFID. The same technology used in your credit cards.
The device is called localizer. It uses a miniature marker, or tag that's implanted in the breast and a handheld reader and probe.
“This is like giving me GPS markers to exactly where I have to go,” said Hobart.
For patients like Tammy, it made a world a difference the second time around.
“It was a lot easier and a lot more accurate too,” said Taylor.