Outsmart breast cancer with VABB

Outsmart breast cancer with VABB

Medical science is progressively looking at smarter ways to cure a disease like breast cancer. Having said that, it is the most commonly occurring cancer among women. There were over two million new cancer cases in 2018. In the same year, 1,62,468 new cases and 87,090 deaths were reported for breast cancer in India.

One of the leading cause of mortality among women, across geographies, deaths from breast cancer can be prevented if it is diagnosed at an early stage and treated with state-of-the-art treatment. What’s interesting is that researchers are boldly leaping into the future with breakthrough advanced diagnostics.

Once entirely dependent on clinical breast examination techniques, imaging tests, surgical biopsy, nipple discharge cytology and others, great headways in medical sciences have made lesser invasive diagnosis possible by making use of alternative procedures.

Newer technologies like Vacuum Assisted Breast Biopsy promise accurate diagnosis as well as help in the removal of benign lesions (if any). Let’s understand how a technology like VABB works and what’s in it for the patient.

VABB is a technique that provides accurate diagnosis by allowing sufficient specimen to be obtained with a single insertion. In addition to the 100% correct diagnosis, it also helps in the removal of benign lesion up to three cm.

The biopsy can be done under sonographic, mammographic, and magnetic resonance imaging guidance. It is a safe and minimally invasive procedure, performed under local anaesthesia. It is an alternative to surgical biopsy and leaves little or no scar on the skin/breast. 

With its credible reliability, the procedure could potentially replace surgical biopsies and surgical removal of benign lesions. Another point to note here is that, while one in eight (13%) women develop breast cancer at some point in life, 60% develop benign breast disease.

In fact, the most common benign breast diseases are fibroadenoma and fibrocystic disease. These are not life-threatening but often cause anxiety and fear in many patients. Over the years, there have been many debates on how to treat a suspected benign mass detected through palpation or ultrasound (US). This is what VABB solves for most patients. So, while it is important to remember that all lumps should be investigated by a healthcare professional, it is also important to know that not all lumps are cancerous. This can be now avoided by taking a less invasive, alternative procedure like VABB.

Accuracy, precision

VABB’s assured 100% diagnosis is what gives it an edge over many traditional forms of diagnosis. With digital mammographs and ultrasounds, you can detect small lesions before they are even present. But traditional core biopsy does not access the small lesions minutely. This is what VABB makes easy.

It is easy to extract a large volume of tissue for further studying, without scarring the patient. Treatments like VABB are not only more accurate but also trustworthy alternatives to the inevitable scarring caused by open excision procedures. It is also safe and simple. 

Even as it stands as the leading cause of mortality among women, there are many ways to counter breast cancer, if detected at an early stage. The chances of breast cancer depend on various factors including personal history, family history of breast cancer, genetic mutations, menstrual history, and others.

Based on these conditions, early symptoms can now be identified through many innovative, sensitive tools like VABB that are not only minimally invasive, but also promise precision in the diagnosis. They also comfort the patient psychologically by giving them an accurate diagnosis to rely on.

As we look into the future with smarter cures for breast cancer, the core of the cure lies in the prevention itself. Research is transforming the way doctors treat breast cancer, and the need is now more than ever, to embrace innovation to create a change. If specialists know the patient’s condition in advance, the chances of survival improve. Early diagnosis can save millions of lives each year.

Procedures like VABB are not only changing the way breast cancer is diagnosed, but also bringing to fore, a new ray of hope for patients who can be assured of the diagnosis.

Technological advancements like VABB are helping patients live longer, healthier and lead more productive lives. With exciting progress happening in the field of oncology, it’s time to bring these treatments to our people.

(The writer is senior consultant – Surgical Oncology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi)