Breast fibroadenoma (FA) are benign tumor(s) located in the breasts. Although this tumor is not cancerous, patients may decide to have it removed for concern that it may develop into cancer. Breast FA affects approximately 10% of women and accounts for 30% and 75% for all breast biopsies (Kovatcheva, Stoinov, Guglielmina, Seror, & Abehsera, 2013). Currently, treatment centers for breast FA are located in Europe and Asia. Most patients tolerated the treatment well with only a moderate amount of pain and sensitivity in the area treated. According to (Wu, Wang, Cao, Chen, Bai, Zou & Zhu, 2003) eight out of eleven patients diagnosed with breast fibroadenoma were treated with HIFU and there were no adverse effects reported. The treatment induced lethal ablation without damaging surrounding healthy tissue or systemic effects.
This procedure is completed using a 3.5 MHz piezo-electric transducer and 7.5-12 MHz transducer located in the treatment head for precision and accuracy. The patient is placed in a lateral position (depending on which breast is treated) and images are acquired in a radial and anti-radial plane. The HIFU treatment head sends out consecutive sound waves for a period of time, depending on the size of the FA, at approximately 80 ͦ - 100 ͦ C. As the treatment is performed, a 3.5 MHz transducer is scanning the breast in order for complete visualization of the area being treated, and the surrounding area. The purpose of utilizing a 3.5 MHz transducer during the treatment is to observe if the HIFU is causing any damage to the surrounding area of the tumor. The sonographer evaluating the tumor would be able to visualize the tumor and the surrounding area in real time via gray-scale imaging.
Trials are currently preformed on the efficacy of HIFU for malignant breast cancer. In 2003, a study was implemented on 48 women with biopsy-proven breast cancer. Around the time of the short-term follow-up, 16 patients went into surgery up to 10 days after the procedure, and 7 were operated at up to 14 days after the treatment. A total of 14 patients reported mild pain, warmth, and heaviness in the treated breast. There were no signs of infection in any treated breast. Three patients were examined with an MRI, and all patients who received an MRI examination indicated necrosis of the tumor in the diseased breast. (Wu et al., 2013); since no bleeding or injury occurred to the treated area of the breast, one can conclude the safety of this procedure.
Another trial performed in China denoted 106 patients with biopsy-proven breast cancer...