Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 12th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Pinpointing Breast Cancer

Comparing supine and prone breast scans using computer algorithms to ensure tumours accurately pinpointed in surgery

30 April 2020

Pinpointing Breast Cancer

Surgery is the single most effective treatment for breast cancer diagnosed at an early stage, before it has spread through the body. If the tumour is small enough, patients will be offered a ‘lumpectomy’ (breast conserving surgery) rather than removing the whole breast. In order to cut out the tumour and a safe margin of healthy tissue around it, which may be harbouring rogue cancer cells, it’s essential that the surgeon knows exactly where it is within the breast. This is usually done through an MRI scan, with the patient lying face down inside the scanner. However, surgery obviously has to be done with the patient lying face up. Researchers are using computer algorithms to analyse and compare MRI scans taken in the face down (top row) or face up position (bottom row), enabling surgeons to predict the location of a tumour more accurately and ensure they’ve removed it all.

Written by Kat Arney

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.