News and Information

New Technology Helps with Breast Cancer Detection


Advanced Screening for Women, Saving Lives in Gaston County

Through advanced screening, CaroMont Health is a leader in providing innovation in women’s health for the Gaston County community. As the first in the region to offer Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS), the only breast cancer screening technology specifically developed and FDA approved for women with dense breast tissue, CaroMont is working to help women in our community detect breast cancer earlier—when it is most treatable.

Nearly half of American women have dense breasts, which can increase the risk of breast cancer by 4 to 6 times. ABUS helps doctors find cancers hidden in dense breast tissue, which may be missed by mammography. In partnership with Gaston Radiology, CaroMont began offering this service in 2014.

Why is ABUS important?
More than 40% of women have dense breast tissue, and many may not know. North Carolina is one many states that now require healthcare 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 effective 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.

Under the law, women with 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 breasts can mask cancer by making it difficult to detect on a regular mammogram, and we know that the incidence of breast cancer is increased in women with dense breasts,” said Dr. Heidi Hartman, Breast Imaging Specialist with Gaston Radiology and CaroMont Health. “Through this advanced screening technology, we are now able to find cancer in its earliest stage when it is most treatable.”

As mentioned, CaroMont is 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.

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 about 45 minutes and provides state-of-the-art 3D ultrasound images. The radiologist 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.

Categories: Health