Rates for breast cancer recurrence may see a decrease, thanks to a new device.

Dune Medical Devices’ MarginProbe was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be used in breast cancer surgery. MarginProbe works by emitting electromagnetic pulses through the breast tissue, which will help doctors better identify “cancer on the margin,” or cancerous cells that look like healthy ones.

“Traditionally once surgeons remove the area of the breast where cancer is believed to located, they must depend on touch and sight to try to determine if all cancerous cells have been removed,” says Dennis Holmes, M.D., chief breast surgeon and medical director of the Los Angeles Center for Women’s Health.

Unfortunately most early-stage breast cancer is hard to detect by touch alone, and failure to identify cancer on the margin results in follow-up surgeries for 30 to 60 percent of patients.

MarginProbe is said to be more than three times more effective at finding cancer on the margin during the initial lumpectomy than traditional intra-operative imaging and assessment, which hopefully can give some of the nearly 300,000 women who are diagnosed with breast cancer each year a little peace of mind.

The device is expected to be available in all treatment centers nationwide early this year. “Because this is the only reliable tissue assessment tool available proven to significantly improve our ability to identify cancer on the margin during the lumpectomy procedure, I imagine it will be widely and rapidly adopted in the U.S.,” Dr. Holmes says.

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