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When Jane Davis was diagnosed with breast cancer last July, she began learning as much as she could about the disease. Davis quickly discovered one of the most startling statistics about breast cancer—that up to 40 percent of women in the U.S. who undergo a lumpectomy to remove a tumor require a second surgery. That’s because surgeons often fail to remove the entire tumor during the first surgery.
But Mehra Golshan, MD, director of Breast Surgical Services at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, is trying to change that with his research on a new surgical procedure that no one else in the world is doing.
“The idea is simple,” Golshan said. “The patient is brought into the AMIGO operating room and put under anesthesia. Using contrast MRI, an image is taken of the breast before the surgery and then again after the tumor is removed. We then use the images to ensure the entire tumor is removed, with clear margins, before the patient leaves the OR.”
Davis was able to take advantage of Golshan’s novel surgery. “I was confident that my very best chance of a positive surgical outcome and avoiding a second surgery would be with Dr. Golshan in the AMIGO suite at BWH,” she said. “I felt a huge sense of relief knowing I was going to receive world-class surgical and medical care.”
So far, Golshan has used this technique successfully in the treatment of four patients. The only downside to the procedure is that it takes longer than traditional breast cancer surgery, due to the OR imaging, but Golshan believes the benefits outweigh the risks.
“I am hopeful this innovative procedure will help create a platform for tests and studies that could be done in the operating room to eliminate repeat procedures for breast cancer patients and allow patients to shift their focus to healing and living their lives,” said Golshan.
Davis has been able to do just that. During her successful surgery last September, her entire tumor was removed. After the surgery, she had minimal discomfort and felt well enough to quickly go back to work.
“I feel so grateful and lucky for the wonderful care I’ve received,” Davis said. “I hope that other patients with my diagnosis can have the same opportunity.”