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Mammogram Found A Tumor?
What YOU Need To Know

By Ted Twietmeyer

Do you know someone (usually a female) who has been told by a doctor after a mammogram that a breast biopsy is recommended? A very kind lady I know was told this after a routine annual mammogram; we will call the patient Mary to protect her identity. For more than a century it has been well known that the sooner any cancerous tumor or growth is found and dealt with, the better the survival rate. But this is not as simple as it sounds to deal with for patients who put their faith and trust in a doctor- sometimes it is a doctor who they don't realize is behind on treatment mortality issues and research, or doesn't have their best interests at heart.

Mary was offered several options by the doctor, after a routine 3D mammogram was performed that revealed a tumor in one breast that was not present a year ago in a previous routine mammogram. Latest mammogram was followed by a ultrasound which is a test that provides a better means to measure tumor size and visualization of blood flow in real time. Unusual blood flow associated with a tumor can be a sign of cancer.

Options that Mary was offered by the doctor are:

* Do nothing now and wait 6 months and do another mammogram to see if the body absorbed the tumor.
* Get a biopsy done as soon as possible; if malignant have it removed.

Mary has a history of MS, which is an immunological disease which causes the immune system to attack the myelin sheath on nerves.

Research into the NIH US Library of Medicine revealed that there are TWO main biopsy methods used:

1. BIOPSY GUN - A specialized instrument (often referred to as a gun) enters the breast and then into the tumor, takes a sample and withdraws it. A live image of the breast internally is used to guide the doctor performing the sampling. Sample is then analyzed by a lab to determine whether or not it is cancerous. A known problem with this newer type of biopsy is what doctors call "SEEDING." Seeding is exactly what it sounds like: Any cancerous cells extracted from the tumor during needle sample extraction can leave a trail of cancer cells (like seeding a lawn) all the way through the breast up to the point where the needle exits the breast.

2. VACUUM-ASSISTED BREAST BIOPSY (called VABB) continually draws in samples after insertion;  vacuum-assist continues to draw in small amounts of material during extraction until safely outside the breast. This method virtually eliminates cancerous material seeding during extraction out of the breast.

When Mary called the scheduling person at the doctor's office and told her that she wanted a vacuum-assisted biopsy because of potential seeding issues, the response by the woman at the office was shocking: "Oh, seeding isn't usually a problem." "Isn't usually a problem?" That woman isn't the one with a tumor - yet. If the doctor's group refuses to cooperate, Mary will find another facility to do the biopsy the safer way.

What sane female wants to risk a second round of cancer treatment? Often the body and immune system is already weakened and compromised from healing after the original tumor. Mary's health could become even worse because of her MS - because MS is caused by a compromised immune system.

Image-assisted biopsy problems have been researched and addressed by experts. I am not a doctor, and nothing in this article is intended to diagnose, treat or cure disease. It is time that the cards are laid on the table regarding biopsies, so women can choose for themselves the safer biopsy method to use.


The use of the directional vacuum-assisted device significantly decreases the potential risk of needle tract seeding of breast cancer after an ultrasonographically guided needle biopsy."

Visit the National Institutes of Health website below to learn more about what researchers and doctors have found regarding secondary cancer caused by seeding from using a biopsy gun. Then decide for yourself which type of biopsy you would rather have.

You will find additional related seeding topics on the right side of the NIH webpage at the link below.


Ted Twietmeyer

Nothing in this article is intended to diagnose, treat or cure disease.


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