New technique to make cancer biopsies faster, less painful

Researchers say mechanical arm can help doctors better diagnose early-stage breast cancer

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario have created a new technique for breast biopsy to detect cancer that is quicker, better and less painful than the usual freehand method. A mechanical arm guides the biopsy needle. It even has a braking system to improve the needle’s accuracy and steadiness. The new procedure takes 10 seconds, compared to 31 seconds for the freehand biopsy. The success rate was 95.9 per cent, up from 91.3 per cent. The researchers say their technique will help doctors better diagnose early-stage breast cancer, which will save women’s lives. More tests in humans will start this fall.


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