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VABB – Advanced technique to accurately diagnose breast cancer and remove smaller benign lumps

Vacuum-Assisted Breast Biopsy (VABB) is a minimally invasive procedure
Hyderabad: To commemorate the Breast Cancer Awareness Month of October, leading physician Dr P. Raghu Ram, OBE and Padma Shri awardee, Director of KIMS – USHALAKSHMI Centre for Breast Diseases in Hyderabad highlighted the fact that due to lack of awareness and absence of a robust organised population based Screening programme, more than 60% of Breast cancers in India present in advanced stages, with consequently poor survival. One in two women diagnosed with breast cancer dies from the disease in India. He emphasised upon the importance of early detection of breast cancer as the key to saving more lives from the disease.

Speaking on the importance of timely diagnosis, Dr Raghu Ram stated, “With 1,62,000 new cases being diagnosed every year, Breast Cancer is the commonest cancer affecting women in India. Every year, close to 90, 000 women succumb to breast cancer. Sadly, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every four minutes and a woman succumbs to the disease every 8 minutes in the Country. He also said that unlike in the West, where most breast cancers present beyond the age of 50 years, the vast majority in India present under the age of 50, atleast a decade earlier. 

Dr Raghu Ram added “There are only two ways to fight breast cancer. Firstly, women of all ages must be “breast aware” and any new changes must be reported to the doctor without delay. Secondly, women 40 years and over must have an annual Screening Mammogram. I urge the men reading this article to gift their loved ones with an annual Screening Mammogram test, which is the only proven way to detect breast cancer in early stages, that would undoubtedly save scores of lives.”
9 out of 10 breast health issues are benign. Only one of 10 turns out to be cancer. Therefore the essential component of care is to reassure the vast majority of “worried well women” with benign non cancerous breast health issues.
About VABB :
VABB is a pioneering tissue sampling technique by which breast abnormalities (benign and malignant lumps) can easily be accessed through a small and single incision. It is performed with the help of either a mammogram or ultrasound, or MRI, to precisely identify the lesions. The ability of VABB to collect multiple samples with a single needle has the potential to reduce procedure times for patients and may reduce discomfort during breast biopsy in a minimally invasive manner. In addition, it ensures that tissue samples are taken from all parts of the lesion. The samples are then sent to laboratory for detailed analysis, to identify if the lump is malignant or benign.
VABB has been approved by FDA (USA) and NICE (UK) for complete removal of fibroadenoma, a benign lesion in the breast. This advanced technology is widely used abroad and is now also available in India and is helping women take charge of their health and outsmart breast cancer. The Vacuum-Assisted Breast Biopsy technology increases the efficiency, accuracy, and ease of targeting such small breast lesions and therefore is practiced as a gold standard across the globe.

Commenting on the usefulness of VABB, Dr. Raghu Ram stated, “VABB is a minimally invasive procedure in which a large sample of breast tissue is removed for examination. It can indeed be an alternative to a surgical biopsy in certain circumstances and is performed under local anaesthesia in an outpatient setting. The main indications for VABB are to completely excise impalpable calcifications which are indeterminate or highly suggestive of cancer, which would have otherwise needed surgery under the guidance of ultrasound/mammogram (stereotactic). VABB is also useful in removal of small non cancerous benign breast lesions (fibroadenoma) under 3cms, with proven reliability & can replace the need for surgery. 

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