'Groundbreaking for me': ATL doctor uses new machine in detection of breast cancer

Machine helps early detection of breast cancer

Every two minutes, a woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer. One in eight will be diagnosed in her lifetime.

The numbers are startling, but early detection is key to saving lives.

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A new machine called margin probe has the ability to detect cancer cells in tissue during a lumpectomy. It uses radio-frequency electrical fields and uses sounds and a monitor to detect malignant cells.

"If a positive margin, it will make a different sound," Dr. Rhonda Wachsmuth said. "I would say its groundbreaking for me."

Wachsmuth is one of the first doctors in Atlanta to use the machine. Wachsmuth said it helps eliminate follow-up surgeries to remove lingering cancer cells. She said microscopic cancer cells may not show up on an x-ray.

"Anything we can do to minimize scars, minimize tissue remove is very beneficial to the patient," Wachsmuch said.

Patient Claudia French said this new machine saved her life. French finished her last radiation treatment last week.

"We thought only one tumor. With machine, there were three," French said. "We were able to get clear margins all around and I didn't have to get additional surgeries, which was wonderful."

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