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Letter to the Editor
Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

The news story “Radioactive ‘seeds' help locate small breast tumors” (Aug. 12 and highlights an important advance in breast surgery. However, it omits the history of how this procedure was brought to Pittsburgh.

Radioactive seed localization was first brought to Pittsburgh by a multidisciplinary team of physician-researchers and surgeons from the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. Since 2011, over 1,600 such procedures have been performed at Magee locations.

Our surgical oncologists have held conversations with insurers about the patient benefits. This cutting-edge procedure quickly became our standard of care, based on our research demonstrating success comparable to traditional wire localization. Additional research has shown less patient discomfort with the seed procedure.

We applaud the Trib's interest in breast care advances and want to make sure its readership and potential breast-surgery patients are aware of the depth of expertise here at Magee.

Gretchen Ahrendt, Jules Sumkin & Marguerite Bonaventura

The writers, all physicians, are, respectively, co-director of the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program, chief of radiology and breast surgical oncologist at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.

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