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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2011 October;66(5):455-68

language: English

Imaging technologies in breast diagnosis and surgical treatment

Simpson J. S. 1, Ma G. 1, Holloway C. M. B. 2

1 Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Toronto, Canada;
2 University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada


The diagnostic and surgical management of breast cancer has changed dramatically over the past 2 decades. All facets in the multidisciplinary management of breast cancer are rapidly evolving and being driven forward by technological advances. Conventional imaging techniques are now being augmented with advances in molecular imaging that probe biological properties of tissue to create images, and optical imaging which reflects physical properties of normal and diseased tissues. Automated computer assisted biopsy techniques are being developed to sample breast tissue with a higher degree of accuracy and patient comfort. As the trend toward minimally invasive breast surgery continues ablative techniques such as radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation, interstitial laser ablation and focused ultrasound ablation are being explored to potentially avoid the need for surgery all together. New intraoperative lesion localization techniques such as 3-dimensional ultrasonographic tumor models, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided projection and reproduction, radioguided occult lesion localization and optical imaging techniques are being developed to improve surgical guidance. Evaluation of advanced imaging and intraoperative guidance techniques requires more comprehensive histopathological examination of surgical specimens, prompting the development of techniques aimed at to improving upon the current limitations in breast pathology. This review will describe the development of new technologies in breast imaging, tumor ablation, intraoperative surgical guidance and tissue processing aimed at advancing minimally invasive diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

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