Improving Surgical Experience for Breast Cancer Patients

Sep 29, 2020

Tenet Health Central Coast continues to demonstrate its commitment to offering the most advanced treatment options to patients with breast cancer by utilizing the SCOUT® Wire-Free Radar Breast Localization System to provide easier, more compassionate care to women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The new system is available at Tenet Health Central Coast’s Templeton Imaging center in conjunction with Twin Cities Community Hospital.

“We are proud to be among the first in the region to provide wire-free localization as the standard of care both in terms of patient experience and in exactitude,” said Mark Lisa, CEO of Tenet Health Central Coast. “Not only has it been shown to decrease patient discomfort and improve patient satisfaction, its ability to precisely locate tumors increases the probability of complete cancer removal and reduces the likelihood of needing follow-up surgeries.”

SCOUT uses non-radioactive, radar technology to provide real-time surgical guidance during breast surgery. Rather than placing a wire immediately before surgery, a reflector is placed in the target tissue prior to the day of surgery at the patient’s convenience. During surgery, the SCOUT guide uses instantaneous distance measurement guidance to accurately detect the location of the reflector – and the tumor to within 1mm of accuracy.

An additional benefit is that the system provides the opportunity to strategically plan the incision, which can result in better cosmetic outcomes. SCOUT is also used to effectively localize lymph nodes prior to neoadjuvant therapy and can be used with any type of imaging over the course of a patient’s care.

The new technology is part of Tenet Health Central Coast’s coordinated care in striving to provide the highest standard of breast cancer diagnostics and treatment: Tenet Health Central Coast’s Selma Carlson Diagnostic Center offers 3D mammography (breast tomosynthesis) for breast cancer screening. Breast cancer screening with tomosynthesis, when combined with a conventional 2D mammography, has a 40 percent higher detection rate for invasive cancer than conventional 2D mammography alone.

In San Luis Obispo County, which has among the highest in incidence rates in the nation (, this is extremely important: Although one in eight women nationally will develop breast cancer sometime in her lifetime, if detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent. Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer. 

Tenet Health Central Coast’s 3D mammography system offers exceptionally sharp breast images, and is also designed for more patient comfort. The tomosynthesis platform produces a three-dimensional view of the breast tissue that helps radiologists identify and characterize individual breast structures without the confusion of overlapping tissue.

Breast tomosynthesis has the potential to benefit all screening and diagnostic mammography patients and is especially valuable for women receiving a baseline screening, those who have dense breast tissue and/or women with a personal history of breast cancer.

The tomosynthesis screening experience is similar to a traditional mammogram. During the exam, multiple, low-dose images of the breast are acquired at different angles. These images are then used to produce a series of one-millimeter thick slices that can be viewed as a 3D reconstruction of the breast.

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