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Dr. John Colfry

Breast Surgical Oncologist, Touro Infirmary

Cheryl Gerber

Although few things are more crushing than a cancer diagnosis, physicians in New Orleans are embracing new technology that may make cancer treatment less invasive and more precise. For instance, Dr. John Colfry, a Touro Breast Surgical Oncologist, has helped bring the innovative Radioactive Seed Localization to the New Orleans area.

About Radioactive Seed Localization
The new technology is available for women undergoing a lumpectomy for cancer. Previous methods of performing a lumpectomy for cancer patients involved a guide wire to help surgeons estimate the location of the cancer. The results could be somewhat crude. With this new method, surgeons forego the wire and instead use a tiny radioactive seed that’s inserted directly into the cancer. This seed is about the size of a grain of rice, and it gives off a radioactive signal that helps doctors map out the area in 3D and pinpoint the exact location of what needs to be removed. Allowing for more precise treatment, this also helps doctors remove less tissue overall.

Bringing Radioactive Seed Localization to New Orleans
The radioactive seed localization technique is how lumpectomies are being performed at many major cancer centers. Dr. John Colfry learned the practice at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and he helped spearhead the introduction of this surgical technique to the New Orleans community. At this time, his team at Touro are the only people in the Gulf South using these seeds.

He is understandably pleased with the benefits that radioactive seed localization offers some cancer patients. “The cosmetic results are fantastic,” says Colfry. In addition, he praises the procedure’s increased precision and need for less tissue removal. Overall, it’s an innovate technique that promises positive results for many of the area’s cancer patients.
 



Outsmarting Cancer

How can New Orleanians stay a step ahead of cancer? In general, Colfry recommends staying on top of cancer surveillance, having appropriate exams each year and understanding individual risk factors. For instance, high risk factors may include previous instances of cancer, as well as family members who have received a cancer diagnosis (particularly close relatives and those diagnosed under the age of 50). Lastly, by working with doctors such as Colfry, who embrace innovative treatment techniques, people in the New Orleans community can look forward to a healthier future.
 

 

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