PHCS News

UMCP Introduces New MRI Breast Biopsy System

Jul 28, 2009

PRINCETON, NJ (July 28, 2009) - Adding another tool for the diagnosis of breast cancer, University Medical Center at Princeton (UMCP) is now offering MRI-guided breast biopsy, a minimally invasive procedure in which a breast biopsy is guided by highly detailed magnetic resonance imaging.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the United States and the second leading cause of death in women. The mortality rate is declining, however, thanks to advances in breast care treatment and earlier detection.

"When it comes to successfully fighting breast cancer, early detection and prompt treatment are essential," said William A. Parker, MD, a board-certified interventional radiologist on the hospital's medical staff. "The good news is that advances in breast care such as MRI and MRI-guided breast biopsy can now be used in coordination with other diagnostic exams such as mammograms to detect and diagnose cancers earlier."

During a breast biopsy, doctors remove a small sample of breast tissue and examine it for the presence of cancer cells. Such procedures are typically ordered after the detection of a lump or when a diagnostic exam finds an irregularity.

The MRI-guided breast biopsy at UMCP makes use of the minimally invasive Mammotome® Breast Biospy System in conjunction with powerful 3T MRI imaging capabilities, resulting in a highly accurate breast cancer diagnosis with minimal pain, scarring and recovery time.

During the procedure, a physician guides a small probe into the breast through a quarter-inch incision and gently collects suspicious tissue samples for evaluation.

The outpatient procedure can be completed in approximately an hour and most patients return to normal activity immediately after. In addition, the biopsy incision is so small that just an adhesive bandage is needed to cover it. No sutures are required, and there is minimal scarring.

Mammograms continue to be essential to breast cancer screening, Dr. Parker added, with MRI and MRI-guided biopsy among several follow-up diagnostic techniques that may be used depending on the mammogram results and the needs of the patient.

MRI-guided biopsy is the newest in a comprehensive array of breast health services available through UMCP.

Other services include:

  • State-of-the-art digital screening and diagnostic mammography;
  • Ultrasound-guided and stereotactic biopsies to promptly evaluate masses and other abnormalities; 
  • Access to certified breast health navigators (specially trained nurses) who provide one-on-one support and, for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, skilled guidance from diagnosis through treatment; 
  • Genetic counseling; and
  • Breast health education and support services