Screening for Women with Dense Breasts
The St. Mary's Women's Imaging Center is on the leading edge of breast care by being the first provider in the Northwestern Oklahoma and Southern Kansas regions to offer the InveniaTM Automated Breast Ultrasound System (ABUS) to patients. The technology was approved by the FDA for breast cancer screening and is used in addition to mammography for asymptomatic women with dense breast tissue and no prior interventions.
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ABUS can be used to detect additional cancer in women where mammography alone may be insufficient due to the patient's greater breast density. Using ultrasound, there is no ionizing radiation and ABUS is a quick, painless and effective way to image dense breasts.
Learn more about the ABUS exam by watching this short video:
Before starting the exam, the ABUS operator attaches a mesh membrane to the ultrasound scanner. A layer of lotion is then applied to the breast, which ensures good contact between the ultrasound transducer and the skin. The operator places the scanner on the breast and applies gentle pressure. The scan is started, which takes under one minute to move across the breast. Typically, three scans are performed on each breast for a complete scan of the breast volume. The full exam takes between 15-20 minutes.
A specialized radiologist interprets the ABUS scan along with the woman’s mammogram and clinical history. The result is a more accurate way of detecting breast cancer in women with dense breasts. Women with prior cancer, breast surgery or implants can benefit from the additional information ABUS offers.
It’s important to get regular mammograms as suggested by your doctor. If you have been informed you have dense breast tissue, you should talk to your doctor about your specific risk and additional screening tests that might be appropriate.