As Dr. Tom Norman, a diagnostic radiologist at ECM Hospital, scours this film, he’s looking for anything unusual. This is film from a recent MR guided breast biopsy performed at ECM Hospital, along with the Tri-State Center for Breast Health.
“It’s a very sensitive and specific way of diagnosing breast cancer, particularly in the work up of problem cases,” said Dr. Norman.
The MR guided breast biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure that can take place in about 45 minutes, detecting very small lesions.
“For instance, just to give you an example, this is a patient with a previous breast cancer whose plain films, that is the original mammogram as well as the follow up ultrasound examinations were completely normal,” explained Dr. Norman. “But because of the patient’s clinical history, an MR study was performed and indeed there is a 2 millimeter area of enhancement in the breast that is viewed with some suspicion. The beautiful part of the examination is this finding is absolutely invisible by digital mammography and as well as ultrasound examination.”
Before this technology was available at ECM Hospital, patients had to travel out of the area for this specific care. Now they never have to leave the Shoals.
“MR is still the gold standard for the detection of breast cancer and breast cancer recurrence and now we have that available at ECM,” said Dr. Norman.