Betty Ford Breast Care Services first to offer radioactive seed localization

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 11:07 am on Friday, October 12, 2012

GREENVILLE — Betty Ford Breast Care Services now offers radioactive seed localizations for breast cancer patients.

The facility, which is located in Grand Rapids and is part of Spectrum United Memorial, is not only the first, but only provider in Michigan to offer radioactive seed localization for breast surgeries, according to the hospital’s website.

Elaine Bower, program administrator at Spectrum Health Breast Care Services, explained preoperative localization heals surgeons accurately locate and remove a breast abnormality when a patient requires surgery.

“The radioactive seed is the size of a grain of rice and can be implanted into the breast at the site of the lesion days before the surgery itself,” Bower said.

During the surgery, a hand-held device is used by a surgeon to locate the seed, which is used to guide the surgeon in the deletion of the abnormality, she said.

A common used procedure is the needle localization, Bower said, which also helps the surgeon locate the lesion.

“(Both) procedures can be used successfully, and the surgeon determines which procedure is appropriate for the patient’s needs,” Bower said.

There are benefits of using the radioactive seed localization not only for the patient but for the surgeon.

She said the procedure eliminates long-wait times the patient may encounter.

Radioactive seed localization helps to removed less breast tissue by helping the surgeon locate the abnormality more accurately.

“It eliminates the possibility of a repeat surgery because it lowers the rate of positive margins and the pathologist has a more uniform specimen,” Bower said.

Betty Ford Breast Care Services strives to provide quality in all of its breast cancer programs.

“Our experienced and dedicated team of breast-care providers is committed to providing the highest quality breast cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment,” according to its website.

Betty Ford Breast Care Services Timeline 

1987: First to include nurse educators and nurse navigators in Grand Rapids.

2002: First to introduce computer-aided detection in West Michigan.

2004: First to provide MRI-guided needle localization and biopsies in West Michigan.

2006: First to provide digital mammography in Grand Rapids.

2009: First in Grand Rapids to be awarded Breast imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR). Less than 5 percent of centers nationally have this designation.

2010: First in West Michigan to be accredited by National Accreditation Program for Breast Cancer (NAPBC).

2011: First and only provider in the state of Michigan to offer breast tomosynthesis: a breakthrough 3D screening tool.

2012: First and only provider in the state of Michigan to offer radioactive seed localization for breast surgeries.


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