GHS doctors use new technology to locate breast cancer


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Breast cancer is the leading diagnosis of cancer for women in South Carolina. Now, there’s a new technology that will make detecting cancerous tissue more convenient for patients.

The technology is called SAVI SCOUT. It uses radar technology to triangulate cancerous tissue in patients.

Greenville Health Systems is the only hospital doing this type of surgery in the state, currently.

Jenene Davis said she found out she had cancer when she went for her annual mammogram in 2012.

“When I got that phone call for a moment, it was like the world just stopped,” Davis said.

Back then, doctors used the wire technology to locate her stage zero tumor.

Everything looked good for Davis until her mammogram this year when doctors found another cancerous tumor in her other breast.

However, this time she was given the option to use SAVI SCOUT.

“I hated the wire, but the SAVI SCOUT was simple, and you didn’t know it was there,” Davis said.

She said it also made her surgical day shorter and easier.

“There’s nothing protruding from the breast to remind you that something is there…It just seemed less traumatic,” Davis said.

The SAVI SCOUT is a reflector nearly the size of a tip of a pen.

Doctors insert the reflector days or weeks before the surgery which is different from the wire which had to be inserted the morning of the surgery.

The day of the surgery, doctors use a device which makes a noise the closer it gets to the reflector. Then, doctors make an incision. They continue using the device which gets louder as it gets closer to the reflector  which is near the tumor inside the body. They use the reflector and radar to pinpoint the location and perform the lumpectomy.

“It’s made finding the area more quick and more precise,” said Dr. Brian Patrick McKinley, a surgical oncologist at Greenville Health Systems.

Dr. McKinley said wires will probably continue to be used if there’s a broader area of cancerous tissue that needs to be removed. He says they’re still working with technology to be able to use the reflectors to bracket an area.

However, he says now about 90 percent of breast cancer surgeries done at GHS will use the reflectors.

As for Davis, she’ll start radiation on the June 26th for three to six weeks and hopes to be cancer free by the end of summer.

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