Home » Health
Revolutionary Benign Breast Tumor Treatment Now Available in Burbank
By Karen Trachtenberg
Have you ever heard of something called fibroadenoma? As a young woman, I was disheartened to realize that millions of women are affected by fibroadenoma, a benign breast tumor that occurs among women in their 20s and 30s, and sometimes even earlier. It is the most common kind of benign breast tumor.
In most instances, fibroadenomas rarely, if ever, develop into cancerous cells, and most women diagnosed with them are told to watch and wait - and see how things develop over time. Sometimes the tumors go away on their own, and other times the tumors enlarge and need to be surgically removed. In either case, waiting out a breast tumor is a major source of distress. Surgery is painful and can cause cosmetic damage, changing the overall shape of the breast.
However, Dr. Deanna Attai of Burbank has a solution. She has been performing a minimally invasive tumor removal procedure for the past few years using the Viscia System. Approved by the FDA in 2004, the Viscia System uses cryotechnology to locate and freeze the tumor. The entire procedure takes about twenty minutes and can be done in an office visit. No surgery is required, and minimal, if any cosmetic damage is sustained. Tumors are pinpointed via an ultrasound imaging system and then destroyed using extremely cold temperatures. Gradually, the dead cells are reabsorbed into the body.
After local anesthesia, a tiny probe is inserted into the breast in the center of the tumor. At minus 152 degrees Celsius, the "freezing" builds up from the center until the tumor is engulfed. Hence, the cells are disrupted and destroyed. They are not vaporized, but they are destroyed and then they are taken back into the body.
I asked Dr. Attai how the body reabsorbs the dead cells, and if it is harmful. "Think of it in terms of an analogy," she said. "Let's say you get into some type of accident. You might have a huge knot and some large, severe bruises. Those bruises are really dead blood cells which the body reabsorbs like a hematoma."
Dr. Attai also explained that the procedure is done with an ultrasound device so that the surgeon can see exactly what he or she is doing. The severe cold engulfs the tumor so there is cell death right up to the edge of it, and that way there is no damage to healthy breast tissue.
What causes Fibroadenoma?
There is no known cause. It can run in families, and sometimes, it is part of normal breast anatomy. Pinpointing an exact cause is difficult. Currently, Dr. Attai says she has a seventeen-year-old patient with three different tumors in one of her breasts. The problem, especially for her, is that "keeping an eye on it" is going to be incredibly nerve-wracking. Moreover, the tumors can reoccur. Cryoablation is overall a better treatment bec-ause the reabsorbtion of the lump is gradual, and there will be minimal cosmetic damage.
The treatment has proven to be so efficient that currently, there are some clinical trials
using cryoablation for treatment of malignant tumors.
Health Insurance Coverage
Most health insurance plans cover at least part of the cost of cryoablation. Dr Attai thinks that comparing and contrasting the human cost is also important. "Cryoablation is a twenty-minute procedure done in an office. Compare that with two possible missed days of work, the cost of surgery and general anesthesia, pain, potential cosmetic damage to the breast, and there you have it."
The Fluoridian Debate
By Brenda Eichinger
What do you know about fluoride? It's a yellowish and toxic element we can't see or taste. It's the serving ingredient in our toothpaste and known to be added into over 67% of our drinking water, but it's also a harmful toxin. Why is it added to so much of what we ingest?
For decades fluoride has received negative speculation, and it's been in continuous debate among doctors and scientists. Fluoride has been frequently blamed for such physical defects as dental fluorosis, (damage of either prolonged yellowish stains or a slow deterioration of enamel). Another effect is an accumulation in the bones, making them weak and brittle.
So what is it really?
Fluoride is the reduced form of fluorine, which is an element found in air, water, soils and living organisms. As humans, we're exposed to it typically through drinking water, dental products, soda and some foods.
Is fluoride is good for our teeth? Well, it may or may not. If you look at a tube of toothpaste, the active ingredient reads "sodium fluoride." The regular use of fluoride will remineralize tooth structure, which has been attacked by acid. But how often are we really ingesting it?
The lethal dose of fluoride is estimated to 1-10 grams a day. Positive effects from fluoride come in small dosages, yet negative effects are found from larger amounts.
Children under the age of 6 need supervision when using fluoride toothpaste because they are more likely to swallow and eat it. Since all tooth enamel forms before the age of six, only children under that age are susceptible to getting fluorosis, thus adults shouldn't be too concerned. Fluoride affects younger teeth rather than adult teeth because the internal structure has already grown and developed.
Fluoride is meant to be an important role for dental health, as we brush with it everyday and drink it through water. Drinking fluoridated water may also be a benefit in the prevention of tooth decay, but you may not wish to take that risk.
There are new alternatives such as non-fluoride toothpastes and water filters. Among several toothpaste brands, Tom's of Maine is one that offers effective ADA approved non-fluoride pastes in a variety of flavors. Even Brita provides chemical filters for your home drinking system.
As we've been taught to take sweets and alcohol in moderation, so it seems now with toothpaste and our drinking water. Fluoride may contain both valuable and potential detrimental effects on our dental health, depending on the level of intake, so the controversy remains, but the decision is up to you.
INTENSE PULSED LIGHT (IPL) TO HELP SUN DAMAGED SKIN
Living in Southern Calif-ornia, there is no way of getting around the sun and skin damage. Local Plastic Sur-geon, Dr. Marc Kerner and his staff at Dermatique Medical Center for Advanced Skincare, Inc have been working with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL ) technology to help get rid of the imperfections of sun damage and photo-aging as well as broken veins and capillaries on the face, neck, chest area, hands and any other areas of the body that are sun damaged. IPL can also help treat Rosacea, a facial rash that occurs in middle-aged men and women. IPL may even be covered under some insurance plans when treating Rosacea.
IPL offers a safe, non-invasive solution that can be tailored to your individual condition and skin type providing outstanding result. A cold gel is usually applied to the area to be treated. And then the smooth glass surface of the IPL hand piece is gently applied to your skin and pulses of light are applied the area to be treated. Depending on the number of conditions you are treating, and the severity of the individual problem, a series of 4-6 treatment sessions may be recommended. There is no down time and you can return to work the same day and resume regular activities. Each treatment takes about 30 minutes. According to one patient, "I saw results on my chest area after only 1 treatment. I was amazed how my skin looked so soft and young and I had no more irritating brown spots."
For more information on Intense Pulsed Light or to make an appointment for a FREE skin care consultation, call (805) 230-1111. Dermatique Medical Center is located at 696 Hampshire Rd in Westlake Village.
back to top