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Breast Health - Healthy Balance

Oct 13, 2014 08:02PM ● Published by Erica Shames

Jan Fisk, RT(R)(M), a Registered Radiology Technologist at the Thyra M. Humphreys Center for Breast Health at Evangelical Community Hospital, uses the somo∙v™ ABUS Platinum system on Brandy Kift, of Muncy. The ultrasound equipment is especially effective for women with dense breast tissue.

By Jeffrey B. Roth
Early detection of breast abnormalities saves lives, said Dr. Douglas Yee, director of the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota and spokesperson for the American Association for Cancer Research. Breast cancer diagnostic tools available more than five years ago included manual breast exams, traditional mammograms, manual ultrasound examinations and MRI. With the recent addition of Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS) imaging, especially for women with dense breasts, physicians can access another sophisticated weapon in the arsenal used in early detection of breast cancer.

Looking back

Prior to the introduction of ABUS, manual ultrasound breast examinations offered a noninvasive, non-radiological imaging system that provided a better opportunity to identify breast abnormalities in women with dense breasts, Dr. Yee said. The tool’s efficiency, while better than mammography when examining dense breast tissue, was dependent upon the imaging technician.

“The major challenge around technology relates to its reliability,” Dr. Yee said. “While the hand-held guided ultrasound was good, it was very operator-dependent. The automated machine has the potential to get around the problem.”

Where we are

Ultrasound imaging technology is radiation-free; it does not require breast compression and it provides 3D imaging, compared to mammograms, which are 2D images, Dr. Yee said. ABUS offers physicians “a fabulous opportunity to identify breast cancer in early screenings.”
Last May, Evangelical Community Hospital’s Thyra M. Humprheys Center for Breast Health announced the acquisition of the GE Healthcare somo-vTM ABUS Platinum system, considered to be one the best devices for imaging of women with dense breasts, said Dr. John F. Turner, FACS, clinical co-manager of the center. The technology has been around more than five years, but it has been refined since first introduced as a diagnostic imaging tool.

“Before this, we did not have a clear indication for the breast density issue,” Dr. Turner said. “The reality is that when a mammogram has better than 50-percent background density, there is a risk of missing a cancer on that study. We're talking about 50-percent of women, 40 and over, who have significant density; specifically heterogeneous density of 50 to 75 percent; or severe density of 75 percent and over.”

What we know

Dr. Turner noted that a 2007 study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine found that “mammographic density is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and makes the detection of cancer by mammography difficult;” and “mammography sensitivity is significantly reduced in women with dense breasts, as density masks the appearance of tumors. As breast density goes up, the accuracy of mammograms goes down. Studies have shown that automated breast ultrasound is clinically proven to increase cancer detection by 35.7 percent over mammography alone for women with dense breasts.”

In 2013, Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett signed the Pa. Breast Cancer Coalition, PBCC’s Breast Density Notification Act. The law requires that mammography centers notify women and their primary care physicians of their breast density and, when indicated, patients may be referred for additional screening options, such as ABUS, Dr. Turner said. The center not only notifies patients they have this type of tissue, but they take the next step by providing them with educational materials and consultation to help them understand and make the best decisions possible for their health.

“We realize there are other options in our local healthcare arena for breast care services including Breast Tomosynthesis, but we specifically chose this new 3D ultrasound technology for its superior ability to capture images of abnormalities through lower compression, without additional radiation exposure,” said Kenneth Jusko, DO, medical director of imaging services for Evangelical Community Hospital.  “At the end of the day, our goal is to help every woman who has an abnormality detect it, find it early and take whatever means necessary to resolve it.”

Where we are going

While some physicians argue that breast self-examination is not effective, Dr. Turner believes it is a first-step in an increasing range of diagnostic options. An annual clinical examination offers a more sophisticated inspection than self-exams; followed by mammograms, ultrasounds and MRI scans, when necessary.

Dr. Jusko said ABUS provides 3D capabilities to reconstruct breast images. The resulting images can be manipulated by software, allowing diagnosticians multiple views of the interior of the breast. The actual procedure generally takes less than 30 minutes for the scan. When completed, ABUS provides about 1,000 images.

Use of MRI scans, the most expensive procedure, is indicated with high-risk patients, Dr. Jusko said. A hand-held 2D ultrasound provides better image resolution, but is not as thorough as an ABUS scan.

If an ABUS scan indicates the presence of an abnormality, the hand-held ultrasound scan may be employed for confirmation purposes to determine if it’s benign and should be left alone or if a biopsy is indicated, Dr. Jusko said.

“Our goal is to identify cancers before they reach one centimeter in size,” Dr. Jusko said. “We are trying to find 5, 6 or 7-millimeter cancers. The treatment is a lot simpler and more straightforward.”

Using proprietary technology to automate the ultrasound imaging process, the somo∙v ABUS Platinum system was developed specifically for imaging of the dense breast, Dr. Jusko said. The somo∙VIEWer™ Advanced 3D Workstation enables fast, accurate review and archiving of patient exams.

What to do?

Ask your physician if your breasts can be classified as dense. If so, and you are at a high risk for developing breast cancer, it makes sense to investigate diagnostic tools with the potential to detect breast cancer earlier.  

Jeffrey Roth, a resident of Adams County, Pa., is a correspondent for Reuters and writes for numerous magazines and publications, including the New York Times.

Resources

National Cancer Institute – Cancer.gov 
New England Journal of Medicine – Nejm.org  
American Cancer Society – Cancer.org 
Breast Density Notification Act –Pabreastcancer.org/blog/2013/11
Thyra M. Humphreys Center for Breast Health - Evanhospital.com/services/breast-health-center





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    Intro to Social Media Marketing SM 101, Tuesday & Thursday, January 30 - March 1 6 p.m. - 9 p.m...


  • The Art of Felting: 2-D Composition

    02/08/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    The Art of Felting: 2-D Composition CE 239, Thursday, February 1 - March 22 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $...


  • Oil Painting

    02/08/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Oil Painting CE 169, Thursday, February 1 - March 22 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $245 Michael Allen Ex...


  • "The Blues Show"

    02/09/2018
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does "blue" mean to you? Make work that shows it -- the color blue, Blues music, blue in th...


  • Music Together Family Classes

    02/09/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Runs for 8 weeks on Fridays Session A: 10-11am Session B: 11:15-12:15pm Music Together® is a f...


  • Books Undone

    02/09/2018
    11:00AM — 07:00PM

    Books become the canvas for contemporary artists in this national juried exhibition. Exhibition i...


  • Homework Happy Hour Tutoring

    02/09/2018
    03:00PM — 04:15PM

    Fridays 3-4:15 p.m. during the school year beginning Feb.9th.  Bloomsburg University Education...


  • Paint Me a Story

    02/10/2018
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    This Saturday morning story time-art-studio-mashup is a whole lot of fun for your little ones age...


  • "The Blues Show"

    02/10/2018
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does "blue" mean to you? Make work that shows it -- the color blue, Blues music, blue in th...


  • Intergenerational Drawing (8 & up)

    02/10/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Intergenerational Drawing (8 & up) CE 189, Saturday, January 27 - March 3 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., $1...


  • Short Story Writing

    02/10/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Short Story Writing CE 208, Saturday, January 27 - March 3 (no class on February 24) 10 a.m. - ...


  • chttp://engage.pcad.edu/winter2018

    02/10/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Young Artists Academy for Grades 6.7.8.9 YS13, Saturday, January 27 - March 17 10a.m. - 12 p.m....


  • Youth Studio Art I for Grades 1.2.3

    02/10/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Youth Studio Art I for Grades 1.2.3 YS11, Saturday, January 27 - March 17 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., $1...


  • Youth Studio Art II for Grades 4.5

    02/10/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Youth Studio Art II for Grades 4.5 YS12, Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, January 27 - March 17 10...


  • Intro to 3D Printing

    02/10/2018
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Intro to 3D Printing: Saturday, February 10th 1-3 p.m. Learn about 3D printing and 3D modeling....


  • The 135-year-old Berlin Philharmonic is consistently ranked as one of the best orchestras in the ...


  • February 10, 2018 | 7:00pm Treat your Valentine to a concert featuring Nashville Recording Chr...


  • Books Undone

    02/11/2018
    11:00AM — 07:00PM

    Books become the canvas for contemporary artists in this national juried exhibition. Exhibition i...


  • "The Blues Show"

    02/12/2018
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does "blue" mean to you? Make work that shows it -- the color blue, Blues music, blue in th...


  • Adobe InDesign

    02/12/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Adobe InDesign DES 154, Monday & Wednesday, January 29 - February 28 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., 1 credit,...


  • Illuminated Letters

    02/12/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Illuminated Letters CE 206, Monday, January 29 - February 26 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $195 Matt Chapma...


  • "The Blues Show"

    02/13/2018
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does "blue" mean to you? Make work that shows it -- the color blue, Blues music, blue in th...


  • Homeschool Art Studio Ages 6-13

    02/13/2018
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Homeschool Art Studio Ages 6-13 YS 40, Tuesday, January 30 - March 20 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m....


  • Books Undone

    02/13/2018
    11:00AM — 07:00PM

    Books become the canvas for contemporary artists in this national juried exhibition. Exhibition i...


  • Homeschool Physical Education

    02/13/2018
    01:00PM — 02:00PM

    Students engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity through a variety of enjoyable game...


  • Business Practices for Creatives

    02/13/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Business Practices for Creatives DES 200, Tuesday, January 30 - April 3 6 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., 1 c...


  • Intro to Social Media Marketing

    02/13/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Intro to Social Media Marketing SM 101, Tuesday & Thursday, January 30 - March 1 6 p.m. - 9 p.m...


  • HTML5 & Website Design

    02/13/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    HTML5 & Website Design DES 155, Tuesday, January 30 - April 3 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., 1 credit, $475 ...


  • Drawing (Portrait & Figure)

    02/13/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Drawing (Portrait & Figure) CE 91, Tuesday, January 30 - March 20 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $245 Evan ...


  • Acrylic Painting and Mixed Media

    02/13/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Acrylic Painting and Mixed Media CE 238, Tuesday, January 30- March 6 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $215 Ju...



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