Breast Surgeons at Beth Israel's Cancer Center
Perform Ductoscopy in the Doctor's Office Rather than in the Operating
Ductoscopy can identify early changes in the breast similar to colonoscopy for the colon.
First Webcast: Wednesday, October 15th, 2003
NEW YORK - Over 200,000 women will be diagnosed with
breast cancer in the United States this year. Early detection remains
the key to a favorable outcome. Research has shown that most breast
cancer originates in the milk ducts of the breast. Ductal lavage is
an outpatient procedure which allows a sampling of cells from the milk
ducts. Now, breast surgeons at Beth Israel Medical Center are taking
ductal lavage one step further with a new technique called mammary
ductoscopy with intraductal biopsy. This procedure involves the placement
of a tiny catheter into the milk duct, through which the surgeon inserts
a tiny (0.7 mm) fiberoptic endoscope (with a camera at the end of it),
enabling the physician to visualize on a video monitor the breast ducts
60 times their actual size.
Susan K. Boolbol, M.D., breast surgeon at Beth Israel Cancer Center
explains, “With ductal lavage, a tiny catheter is placed into
the nipple and fluid is aspirated from the milk duct, then sent to
the laboratory and analyzed. With ductoscopy, a fiberoptic endoscope
is inserted into the milk duct, enabling the physician to actually
visualize the inside of the milk ducts and biopsy any abnormalities
seen at that time. This information may affect further follow-up and
Sheldon Feldman, M.D., Chief of the Louis Venet, MD Comprehensive
Breast Service at Beth Israel says, “Ductoscopy allows us to
obtain real-time information about changes in the milk ducts. This
incredibly exciting new technology allows us to access the source of
most breast cancer. Intraductal evaluation has the potential to revolutionize
the diagnosis and treatment of breast disease.
If any abnormality is visualized or atypical cells are found, an intraductal
biopsy of lesions found inside the milk ducts can be performed from
within the duct itself, possibly eliminating the need for surgical
intervention. The best way to describe this procedure to patients is
that ductoscopy can identify early changes within a portion of the
breast similar to colonoscopy for the colon. With ductoscopy, sedation
is not required. A local anesthetic cream is applied to the nipple
as needed. This allows for the patient to see the images displayed
on the computer screen, along with the physician. The entire procedure
for ductoscopy with intraductal biopsy takes approximately 45 minutes
and is well tolerated.”
For more information about ductal lavage and ductoscopy, please call
212/844-8959. If you would like to interview Dr. Sheldon Feldman /Dr.
Susan K. Boolbol and a patient, please call Michelle Pipia-Stiles in
the public affairs office at 212/523-7772, so that the necessary arrangements
can be made.
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