Current practice of breast cancer detection

Novel CNB systems are also being developed with the goal of improving accuracy (Velanovich et al.,  1999;  Wong et al.,  2000).  One example is a vacuum-assisted biopsy instrument, also known as a Mammotome, in which suction is applied to the tissue while CNB is performed.

This results in more tissue being drawn into the needle. In one study that compared standard stereotactic CNB with vacuum-assisted biopsy in patients with microcalcifications, CNB missed calcifications in nearly 10 percent of the patients,  but vacuum-assisted biopsy did not miss calcifications in any of the 106 patients (Meyer et al., 1997). The Advanced Breast Biopsy Instrument (ABBI) is an example of a new system for removal of a larger core biopsy specimen than is possible with a Mammotome or by traditional CNB.  The ABBI method uses a rotating circular knife and a thin wire heated with an electrical current to remove a large cylinder of tissue containing the abnormality.


Sharyl J. Nass, I. Craig Henderson, and Joyce C. Lashof
Committee on Technologies for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer

National Cancer Policy Board INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE and Division of Earth and Life Studies

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