ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A new pen-like probe could help cancer surgeons know when it’s safe to stop cutting.

“They way that it applies to breast cancer is in women who have a partial breast removal or a lumpectomy, and one of our concerns whenever we do a lumpectomy is if there is any cancer at the edge,” says SLU Care’s Dr. Teresa Schwartz, a breast cancer surgeon at SSM Health SLU Hospital.

“What this pen could potentially do is be used inside the cavity after the breast tissue is removed, and see if any cancer is left after that lumpectomy,” she says.

This pen-like device could also work on thyroid, lung and ovarian cancer cells. It could be ready for testing in cancer surgeries sometime next year.

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