East Texas hospitals talk about breast cancer initiatives and modern technology

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  • As technology has advanced over the years, more services have become available to better detect and treat breast cancer. From tiny chips that help locate cancers in the breast to survival programs that keep patients informed and connected to resources, breast cancer has come a long way.


“I think (UT Health East Texas) has cutting-edge technology. Christine Moulds-Merritt, Breast Surgeon. Some of the biggest technological developments were radio frequency identification tags and her 3D mammography machine or tomosynthesis.

RFID tags are a technology that places a chip in the cancerous area of ​​the breast to pinpoint its location to the surgeon. said Michael Klouda, Radiology Specialist at UT Health East Texas Breast Care Center. “It’s like GPS for cancer,” said Molds-Merritt.

Before RFID tags, patients had to come in the morning before another mammogram to numb the area and then insert wires around the cancerous tissue in the breast, Molds-Merritt said. . The wire partially protruded from the chest, preventing the patient from being discharged once the wire was inserted.

The chip is inserted into the breast with a hollow, needle-like device. This tool makes a small incision and allows the tip to be inserted into the chest. Mr. Klouda was told to insert the chip. The chest is numbed before the incision is made. To make sure the chip is in the right place, ultrasound or something similar is used at the same time so the doctor can see what it’s doing in the chest. Each chip has a patient-specific identification number, he said. Doctors can scan the chip to locate it and get its unique number.

With RFID tags, patients can schedule surgeries at their convenience and even go to different hospitals if needed. Another advantage, Molds-Merritt said, is that the patient can enter the operating room for surgery and use the probe to pinpoint exactly where the chip was implanted. This allows better selection of incision sites during surgery to remove the cancer.

The wire method of locating the cancer places the doctor in a more difficult position to decide where to make the incision, because the doctor must follow the wire to reach the cancer mass. tissue may be removed, says Dr. Brandon Ashton. Radiologist at UT Health East Texas Breast Care Center.

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