(CTN News) – A new diagnostic analyzing device has been gifted to the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, helping to speed up the delivery of results for breast cancer patients.
It was previously only available in Alberta and Ontario that the “Ventana BenchMark ULTRA” was available.
As a result, a treatment plan can be determined based on the type of breast cancer each patient has as well as the aggressiveness of the Breast Cancer.
In contrast to previous results, which could take up to a month to receive, Dr. Carolyn Shiau states that results can now be received within a week.
“It is hard to manage that hurry up and wait part of the process, so anything we can do to speed up the delivery of these results to patients and clinicians is totally worth trying,” said Shiau, Fraser Health Authority’s regional medical director for laboratory medicine and pathology.
The new technology will enable us to perform this test within a week, which is fantastic for patients. It allows us to provide their information back to them, back to their clinicians, so they can make an informed decision about their treatment.”
In particular, the machine looks for a protein called HER2, which is found on the surface of cells that may cause Breast Cancer to grow rapidly.
In order to assist our clinicians in determining the best path forward for these patients, it is important for us to determine the HER2 result of these patients in order to help them determine whether surgery is the first step, chemotherapy is the first step, or targeted therapy is the best step,” she explained.
The new machine was not available in British Columbia when Tania Gardner was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.
When you hear the word cancer, you immediately think, “Holy moly, I am going to die,” Gardner said.
Although the diagnosis was devastating, waiting to learn how severe her Breast Cancer was was equally difficult.
When you are told you must wait for three to four weeks, your brain goes to dark places, right?
You don’t know what to do, you know you have Breast Cancer.
She underwent a double mastectomy three weeks later.
As a result, she is encouraged to know that other women will no longer have to wait as long for results.
Using the new $150,000 diagnostic analyzer at Royal Columbian Hospital, pathologists can quickly determine whether a tissue sample is positive for HER2.
Jeff Norris, president and CEO of Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, expressed his gratitude to the Drive for the Cure Foundation and Sanjeev Garg and Seema Garg for their generous support of the HER2 analyzer.
We are humbled by the continued support we receive from donors who share our mission to provide the highest quality of care for people in our province and who step forward to fund equipment such as this.