New breast biopsy procedure now available at Ardmore hospital

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ARDMORE, OK -- New technology is now available at Mercy Memorial Health Center. It could mean quicker, less painful way to discover a potentially dangerous disease and a shorter drive for the patient getting the procedure. Katrina Gutierrez has the details.

The stereotactic breast biopsy takes less than an hour to perform. It's less invasive and allows women to continue with their daily activities right away. And now it's offered right here in Ardmore.

Mercy Memorial Health Center is now home to the latest technology in breast biopsies. That means southern Oklahoma women no longer need to drive to Oklahoma City or Dallas for a new procedure called the stereotactic breast biopsy.

"What's really interesting and nice about this equipment is when we see abnormal calcifications on a screening mammogram or on a diagnostic mammogram instead of having to send the patient to surgery, we can sample those calcifications on this new equipment and get an answer from the pathologist as to whether this is benign or malignant and needs further treatment," says radiologist Derek Howard.

Howard says the procedure takes less than an hour to perform. It involves local anesthesia, produces less scarring, and costs about a third of what a surgical biopsy costs.

Mariana Clark of Healdton had to undergo a biopsy more than thirty years ago and wishes this procedure had been available to her then. Clark says it took her three weeks to recover from her surgical biopsy.

"It was invasive. They had to cut it out and stitch it up and all of that," Clark said.

While it arrived a little too late for Clark, the new technology will help other area women and maybe even save their lives.

"We want to aid in an early detection. Early detection and early treatment of breast cancer, that's the key," Howard says.

Howard says with the addition of the Stereotactic equipment, Mercy Memorial now has all the latest cancer technology available at hospitals in Oklahoma City and Dallas.

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