Sumter,SC (WLTX) --Palmetto Health Tuomey is the first hospital in the state to install the latest technology for breast biopsy.

The Hologic Affirm Prone Biopsy System allows the Tuomey Breast Center to perform a minimally invasive 3-D-guided procedure to gather tissue samples from a breast abnormality. This can be used as an alternative to more invasive surgeries. Duke University School of Medicine in North Carolina is the only other facility in the Carolinas with the new 3-D biopsy technology.

If a radiologist finds an abnormality during a mammogram, the next step would be a diagnostic mammogram or ultrasound. Some patients may need a biopsy so that pathologists can examine the cells to determine if the suspicious area is benign or cancerous. Biopsies can be taken during surgery, but a less invasive procedure involves a hollow needle guided by an ultrasound or mammogram.

Stereotactic needle breast biopsy uses low-dose radiation via 2-D or 3-D mammography to pinpoint the abnormal area with a remarkably high level of accuracy and remove multiple tissue samples with one insertion. It’s less painful than surgery, leaves little to no scarring and can help physicians diagnose smaller cancers more easily.

Radiologist Bert Parker, M.D., is trained in diagnostic and interventional radiology. He applauded Palmetto Health Tuomey for installing 3-D mammography equipment last year and, now, for installing the needle biopsy equipment that is designed to utilize both 2-D and 3-D imaging information.

Parker said, “Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Early detection is so important. The principles of mammography have been the same for the past 20 years, but now we’re able to look at so much more. We are finding more invasive cancers earlier,” which means getting a solid treatment plan in place more quickly.

Dorothy King has been an employee for more than 30 years. When doctors found a suspicious area in her mammogram she knew that this new biopsy system existed and was relieved at how quickly she got her results back. Learning that the area was benign was a great relief.

Michelle Logan-Owens, Palmetto Health Tuomey chief operating officer added, “Women are the heart of the home, and Palmetto Health Tuomey is committed to providing a full complement of exceptional women’s health services in our community. This technology provides women a less invasive means of obtaining a definitive diagnosis so that we can ensure they get the care and support they need as quickly as possible.”

Doctors agree that early detection is the key to saving your life when it comes to breast cancer. Signing up for Buddy Call19 is simple and the first step in making sure you take control of your health.