A new minimally invasive mammographic procedure that significantly improves the early detection of breast cancer was performed for the first time in the Cayman Islands at the Health Services Authority (HSA).
The procedure known as 3D Stereotactic Vacuum Assisted Breast Biopsy is potentially life-saving and has already been used to identify cancerous cells in their early stages in the breast of a patient of the Cayman Islands Hospital, resulting in her early treatment.
Patient Denise Montieth was shocked when the results of her screening mammogram showed an abnormality in one of her breasts and she was advised to have a breast biopsy done.
When a breast lump or abnormality is detected, it is not always possible to tell from the imaging test whether a growth is benign or cancerous. To determine this, a breast biopsy is performed to remove some cells from the suspicious area of the breast for further evaluation. Stereotactic Vacuum Assisted Breast Biopsy involves the removal of these cells using a needle attached to the 3D mammogram machine and a vacuum device. The procedure is less invasive than surgical biopsy, leaves little or no scarring and the results are as accurate as when a tissue sample is removed surgically in the operating theater.
“The Health Services Authority is the only facility in the Cayman Islands with the capabilities to do the 3D Stereotactic Vacuum Assist Breast Biopsy. Previously, patients who opt for this procedure had to be referred overseas,” explained Radiology Manager, Pamela Vaughn-Duncan.
Fortunately, Mrs Montieth became the first patient to experience the procedure on island. It was used to confirm that the abnormality in her breast was cancerous.
“Although finding out I had cancerous cells in their early stages was frightening, the Cayman Islands Hospital’s Radiology staff was fabulous and I am so fortunate they were able to quickly detect and remove these cells, thanks to this new procedure. It is comforting to know that such an important, potentially life-saving service is available on our islands,” expressed Mrs Montieth.
For more information on our Radiology Services or to book an appointment, please contact our Radiology Department at (345) 244-2880/1.