A gamma probe being purchased from Highland Fling proceeds wlll help breast cancer patients get treatment at home.
AMHERST – A piece of equipment that will be purchased by funds raised during this year’s Highland Fling in early May will help save local lives, says Cumberland County’s newest surgeon.
Dr. Andrea Faryniuk thanked members of the Cumberland Health Care Auxiliary and representatives from Scotiabank early Tuesday as bank employees presented their $5,000 community fund donation to the auxiliary.
“A gamma probe is a radioactive detection device that’s used in medicine, specifically in our case it’s used to detect the sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer,” Faryniuk said. “When you have an early breast cancer diagnosis we always want to check the lymph nodes to make sure they also don’t have cancer.”
Without the probe, the process is quite invasive and difficult for the patient. The gamma probe simplifies the process and eases pain and suffering by the patient.
“The old way was to go in and take them all out. It was a fairly complex process with a greater risk of complications. If you have no cancer there, it’s an unnecessary operation,” she said. “This probe is design to check the lymph nodes that would potentially have the cancer first. If we take those few out that procedure has far less complications. If those are negative we know we don’t have to take the remainder out.”
Presently, when someone comes to Faryniuk with a breast cancer diagnosis, she has to send them to Moncton. She said the probe will allow patients to be treated here.
The 32nd Highland Fling raised $37,000 in early May. The auxiliary had set a goal of $35,000 – the cost of a gamma probe.
Fling convenor Vicki Daley said the probe has been ordered and should arrive soon at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre. Hearing Faryniuk’s explanation shows how important the money raised at the Highland Fling is and the difference it’s making.
“It’s always nice to have a goal set and we knew ahead of time what piece of equipment we were raising money for,” Daley said. “We reached our goal and the probe has been ordered. Knowing what this device can do puts a personal touch and what we’re doing with the Highland Fling.”
She said the probe will provide a standard of care that hasn’t been available before and it will only assist Faryniuk in providing quality care to her patients.
Diana Bacon of the Victoria Street branch of Scotiabank
“It’s a wonderful thing because Scotiabank is always looking for opportunities to support the community. This was a wonderful way we could step up with our community matching program to help the auxiliary and to help patients in the community and improve the standard of care,” Bacon said.