New Technology to Aid Cancer Screening in Women with Dense Breast Tissue
CaroMont Regional Medical Center is the first hospital in the North and
South Carolina area to offer Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS), the only
breast cancer screening technology specifically developed and FDA approved
for women with dense breast tissue. ABUS helps doctors find cancers hidden
in dense breast tissue, which may be missed by mammography. In partnership
with Gaston Radiology, CaroMont began screening woman with this technology
“CaroMont is proud to be the first to offer this potentially lifesaving
screening, and our work with Gaston Radiology is an excellent example
of how partnership with the medical community can have a very positive
impact on patient care,” said Kathleen Besson, Chief Operating Officer
at CaroMont Health. “Offering innovative technology is a cornerstone
of great health care, and ABUS is, without a doubt, going to help many
women in our community.”
So, why is ABUS important? More than 40% of women have dense breast tissue,
and many may not know. North Carolina is one of 12 states in the U.S.
to require health care facilities to share information regarding the patient’s
individual breast density classification directly with the patient. This
is based on the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System established by
the American College of Radiology (BI-RADS®). The law, which became
active on January 1, 2014, requires that every woman who has a mammogram
be informed of her breast density. Previously, breast density information
was only reported as part of the mammogram interpretation that was sent
to the patient’s physician.
As required by the new law, women who have dense breast tissue will also
receive the following statement in writing as part of their mammogram
result: “Your mammogram indicates that you may have dense breast
tissue. Dense breast tissue is relatively common and is found in more
than forty percent (40%) of women. The presence of dense tissue may make
it more difficult to detect abnormalities in the breast and may be associated
with an increased risk of breast cancer. We are providing this information
to raise your awareness of this important factor and to encourage you
to talk with your physician about this and other breast cancer risk factors.
Together, you can decide which screening options are right for you. A
report of your results was sent to your physician.”
“Dense tissue can make it difficult or even impossible to find cancer
on a mammogram, and ABUS can find cancers in dense breast tissue that
could be missed on a mammogram,” said Christopher W. Saltmarsh,
MD, Radiologist at Gaston Radiology. “In fact, ABUS can come close
to doubling the breast cancer detection rate for women with dense tissue.
This will allow us to find small, curable cancers that would have been
missed with mammography alone.”
As mentioned, CaroMont will be the first hospital in the area to offer
this technology to women who will benefit from this kind of screening
and image interpretation will be provided by Gaston Radiology.
“We are very excited to be able to offer this new service to the
women of Gaston county and surrounding areas,” said Stephen J. Lostetter,
MD, President of Gaston Radiology. “CaroMont Health has always provided
the Radiologists at Gaston Radiology with the most advanced, cutting-edge
technology to help in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. This is
another example of our strong partnership advancing health care in our
Women with extremely dense breast tissue have a greater risk of developing
breast cancer than women who do not. Unlike mammography, which uses radiation,
ABUS Screening uses sound waves to create 3D pictures of the breast tissue.
If a woman is identified as having dense breast tissue, ABUS screening
along with a screening mammogram will help provide a more accurate evaluation
of breast health.
The full screening process takes less than 15 minutes and provides state-of-the-art
3D ultrasound images. The patient’s physician will then review the
ABUS images along with the mammogram to provide guidance on additional
testing or treatment.
To learn more about Automated Breast Ultrasound, speak with your doctor
or call 704.834.2474.