HealthWACH: Amigo innovative cancer research



Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among American women. About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2012 approximately 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the US.

Factors that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer include:

  • Radiation exposure - If you received radiation treatments to your chest as a child or young adult, your risk of breast cancer is increased.

  • Beginning your period at a younger age. Beginning your period before age 12 increases your risk of breast cancer.

  • Having your first child at an older age. Women who give birth to their first child after age 35 may have an increased risk of breast cancer.

  • Having never been pregnant. Women who have never been pregnant have a greater risk of breast cancer than do women who have had one or more pregnancies.

LATEST TECHNOLOGY: Up to 40 percent of women in the U.S. who undergo a lumpectomy to remove a breast tumor require a second surgery. Thatâ??s because surgeons often are unable to microscopically remove the entire tumor during the first surgery. Dr. Mehra Golshan, Director of Breast Surgical Services, at the Brigham and Womenâ??s Hospital, is changing all of that with the Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO). "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 operating room,â?? said Dr. Golshan. The idea may be simple but the technology is one of a kind. â??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,â?? said Golshan.