Tidelands doctor talks about advances in breast cancer treatment

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Dr. Craig Brackett with Tidelands Health joined News13 NOW  at 9 a.m. Thursday to talk about breast cancer screenings and new developments and advancements in breast cancer treatments that improving outcomes for patients.

Dr. Brackett cleared up some confusion about gene testing and genomics. Gene testing is finding out if a person has certain gene mutations that create a predisposition to breast cancer. However, genomics is testing to better predict how a person with breast cancer will respond to certain treatments. Genomics allows doctors to look at each cancer patient individually and plan treatment based on predicted outcomes.

There are also advances in how doctors consider mastectomies. Dr. Brackett said techniques continue to improve to leave less scarring and do breast reconstructions.

3D mammography is also helping doctors find small cancer cells, particularly in dense breast. The 3D mammography means many breast cancers are detected earlier that they would have been with previous technology.

Watch the video to learn more about 3D mammography and the importance of yearly screenings after age 40.

Dr. Brackett says there have also been advancements in neoadjuvant chemotherapy, which uses drugs to destroy cancer cells before surgical removal of cancer tumors.

Minimally invasive breast biopsies are also an growing option for women. If a biopsy is needed to test for breast cancer, a minimally invasive biopsy could mean less scarring, and possibly less pain among other benefits. There are different forms of minimally invasive breast biopsies, which Tidelands Health says are not available elsewhere in the region.