Advanced breast cancer technology helps in the fight against disease

Advanced breast cancer technology
Posted at 12:21 AM, Oct 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-10 00:21:30-04

Her yearly mammogram saved her life. It’s how Maggie Brown’s stage zero cancer was discovered.

Brown remember that call all too well.

“When she said that the biopsy was cancer--well of course it knocked the breath out of me,” says Brown.

Brown would need to find a surgeon and Dr. Maen Farha came highly recommended. From their first meeting, Brown knew it was a good fit.

“It was just something about him that attracted me, his smile his friendliness," says Brown.

Dr. Maen Farha, Director of MedStar Union Memorial and Medstar Good Samaritan Hospital Breast Centers, and a team of experts through their multidisciplinary clinic would work together with Brown to develop the best plan of action.

Dr. Farha used intraoperative radiation therapy, a relatively new way to give radiation therapy.

“Over the last 4 years we've been using a technique where we do the radiation intraoperatively. I take the tumor out, put a device in the lumpectomy cavity, the radiation oncologist comes in and radiates the bed of the tumor,” says Dr. Farha.

This means, by the time the patient wakes up, she’s completed both her surgery and radiation.

Dr. Farha also used the Savi Scout, electromagnetic wave technology used to locate and remove breast lumps that are not detectable by touch.

According to MedStar Health Cancer Network, Dr. Farha, is the first and only physician in the state to offer the new technology to patients.

Dr. Farha says, “The reflector, the little reflector, is introduced into the area where the tumor is with a small needle, just inject a little numbing medicine, put the needle with ultrasound radiology to guide us to where the tumor is and drop a small reflector and then we use this probe, this instrument to localize the lesion.”

He continued, “So we go around, go around, go around, until we find the spot where it is and we cut right on top of this lesion."

Dr. Farha says this really helps zero in on where the tumors are.

After everything, Brown says she’s feeling good.

“I just can’t believe how I've come through the surgery from beginning to end and no pain. I'm just happy about that,” Brown says.

Dr. Farha says they are happy with the results and he’s ready to move Brown to the next phase which includes hormonal therapy.

Doctors will continue to monitor Brown over the next few years to make sure there is no recurrence.