I am excited to announce that Margin Probe is available in Plano. Margin Probe is a new device approved by the FDA in December 2012 to help find breast cancer cells at the edges or margin of the removed tissue. Any woman who has undergone breast conservation with a breast cancer diagnosis knows there is a possibility of not being able to remove the entire tumor at the first surgery. Microscopic tumor can be present at the margins, or edges, of the lumpectomy and only seen under the microscope a few days after surgery. This means she has to go back to surgery to have more tissue removed. Margin Probe has been shown to reduce the need for a second surgery by 50%.
It is exciting to be the first to use Margin Probe not only in the Dallas – Fort Worth area but the first in the state of Texas as well. I have been following this technology for a few years and hoped to be able to use it for my patients. The Medical Center of Plano is the first hospital in Texas to purchase the Margin Probe. It is an example of their commitment to women’s health and being at the forefront in breast cancer care. The hospital is also certified by the NAPBC, a national organization ensuring breast cancer treatment follows all national guidelines.
Margin Probe works by using radiofrequency fields to detect the difference between malignant cells and normal cells. The device gives a signal when the margin is clear and a different signal when cancer cells are present within 1 mm of the edge. Additional tissue can be taken at that margin immediately, without waiting several days for the pathologist’s report. Studies show that the chance of finding a positive margin (cancer at the edge) is from 25-50% of the time. The study giving Margin Probe FDA clearance decreased the finding of positive margins from 38% to 17%. This means less women needed to return to the operating room for additional surgery.