New advancements in the fight against breast cancer

A Better You

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Recent advancements in modern medicine make it a little easier for patients with breast cancer.

Dr. Barbara Bumberry with Mercy explains that one of those new technologies is the Savi Scout. It’s an implant, about the size of a grain of rice, used to mark breast tumors. Through radar technology, doctors can then perform a lumpectomy.

Dr. Bumberry says this procedure is more comfortable for patients and more favorable than the previously used wire localization method and can result in better margins and cosmetic results.

She says Mercy has been using this method for about a year.

Health insurance usually covers this procedure, Dr. Bumberry says.

Genetic screening and testing is another way technology can help, specifically women who might be at higher risk for developing breast cancer.

Women are offered a high-risk screening at the time of their mammogram, which Dr. Bumberry says is simply a set of questions. If the screen is positive, women then have the option of genetic testing, which is a saliva swab.

The future is promising for breast cancer prevention with new drugs for certain patients who are at risk and even individualized targeted therapy.

But, Dr. Bumberry says the best tool for most women is still annual mammograms.

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