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New device for breast cancer surgery

December 16, 2008 9:00:00 AM PST
Women who undergo surgery to remove breast cancer often have to return to the operating table to have more tumors removed, but a new device may change that.Surgeons at Duke University are testing a new device that could tell them whether they've gotten all of the cancerous tissue on the first try.

Right after removing the tumor, surgeons put it in a special case and expose it to bands of light. It then creates a computer model.

If it shows red on the edges of the tumor, more cancer cells are likely present in surrounding tissue, and surgeons need to remove more.

"The device is showing us, with an 85 percent sensitivity, the areas we would need to remove. If I had removed those areas, the patient wouldn't need to be going back to the operating room," said Dr. Lee Wilke from Duke University.

The device will be tested over the next year on tumors from more patients.


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