Recent research has shown that when it comes to breast health, utilizing the same imaging technology for every woman is no longer optimum. Differences in breast tissue require a variety of tools to maximize effectiveness and efficiency in screening mammography. To that end, the Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Institute (LWHWI) at Boca Raton Regional Hospital has now added the GE Healthcare Invenia™ Automated Breast Ultrasound System (ABUS) to their spectrum of breast imaging capabilities.
“For women with dense breast tissue, ABUS provides us with a superb supplemental screening option,” said Kathy Schilling, MD, Medical Director of LWHWI. “When combined with traditional mammography, it has shown to increase the detection of cancer by nearly 55 percent.”
Breast tissue consists of both fatty and fibroglandular tissue. When a woman has a higher percentage of fibroglandular breast tissue, her breasts are considered dense. In those patients with dense breast tissue a mammogram offers limited visibility. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, women with dense breast tissue have four to six times higher risk of developing breast cancer than women with minimal fibroglandular tissue in their breasts.
Ultrasound utilizes high frequency sound waves to create a detailed image of the breast tissue without exposing the patient to ionizing radiation. The sound waves are sent into the body through a transducer. When pressed against and moved over the skin, the sounds that bounce back are displayed as a real-time image on the monitor.
What makes ABUS distinctive is that it is not a hand-held ultrasound. Rather, it uses a patented transducer that is shaped to a woman’s body, which in turn provides extraordinary image performance, enhanced breast coverage and patient comfort.
The remarkable image quality of ABUS allows the radiologist to focus solely on the anatomy of the patient while eliminating distractions. Its high-resolution touchscreen display and improved workflow reduces procedural time. ABUS also allows generated images to be sent directly to a workstation for quick interpretation and archiving.
The Invenia ABUS is the only ultrasound device in the United States to be approved by the FDA as an adjunct technology that can be used in conjunction with mammography for breast cancer screening in asymptomatic women with dense breast tissue.
“There is a dramatic paradigm shift in the approach to screening mammography that now recognizes the difference in women’s breast tissue and the clinical implications of those differences,” said Dr. Schilling. “The addition of ABUS now gives our Women’s Institute every tool possible to customize our screening protocols per a woman’s specific needs and detect breast cancer at its earliest and most curable stage.”