Using A Microscope To Help Detect Breast Cancer

| April 16, 2008

Story from public media reporting on use of VIAS in a Florida laboratory. 

Link to video on story


Breast cancer responds to treatment best when detected early. A new device is making detection more precise and CBS4 Health Specialist Dr. Sean Kenniff says that means patients can avoid wasted time and money on unnecessary tests.

Lenore Nolan-Ryan, 55, has always been conscious of the danger of breast cancer.

"My aunt had a breast removed when she was about 35 years old and I was about 8 years old and I remember it very well," said Nolan-Ryan.

The Fort Lauderdale resident does self breast exams weekly.

"I think the best thing that any woman could do for themselves is to check themselves as often as they can remember," explained Ryan.

While self breast exams are important, new cutting edge technology is proving a better breast cancer detector than anything we’ve ever seen before.

It’s called the VIAS or Ventana Image Analysis System, an interactive microscope that helps detect, classify and count cells of interest.

The microscope showed small areas and each of them is an individual cell nucleus which is indicating a positive reaction indicating it is a hormone receptive tumor cell.

Dr. Ronald Giffler, Medical Director of Pathology at Broward General Medical Center, said the camera substitutes for the human eye resulting in a more accurate and individualized test.

"What the computer does is it receives the image from the digital camera and actually quantifies the number of these positive cells and the staining intensity to give a very objective report stating just how positive or negative this may be," said Giffler.

Not all hospitals have the device

Ryan said she would go where she needed to for peace of mind.

"If I know that a particular facility has a piece of equipment that is going to better detect, I’m gonna absolutely go there and encourage my friends," said Nolan-Ryan.

The VIAS has been approved by the FDA to help interpret five of the most common breast cancer markers. When you have a biopsy taken, ask your doctor if this test is available.

(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Category: Digital Pathology News, Image Analysis

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