JOPLIN, Mo. – Mercy Breast Center continues to be on the leading edge of care by offering a new screening option.
The Invenia ABUS (Automated Breast Ultrasound System) is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for breast cancer screening that supplements mammography for women with dense breast tissue and no prior treatments.
“We are excited to add the Automated Breast Ultrasound system from GE Healthcare to our comprehensive breast cancer screening program,” said Dr. Sonu Suri with Mercy Breast Center in Joplin. “By offering ABUS in addition to mammography for our patients with dense breast tissue, we are improving detection for small cancers that cannot be seen on a mammogram alone in these women. We believe ABUS will become an integral part of our program for the detection of breast cancer.”
Dense breast tissue not only increases the risk of breast cancer up to four to six times, but also makes cancer more difficult to detect using mammography, according to multiple large studies. One study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed mammography sensitivity is reduced up to 38 percent in women with dense breasts.
As a result, 38 states, including Missouri, have passed laws mandating that women be notified if their breasts are dense and if they may benefit from supplemental imaging as appropriate.
“Mammography is an effective tool for the detection of breast cancer; however, it doesn’t work equally well in all women, particularly those with dense breast tissue,” Dr. Suri said. “Designed and built specifically for screening dense breast tissue, research shows that ABUS technology has the potential to find additional cancers that would not have been found with mammography alone.”
ABUS is not a replacement for screening mammography, but is a supplemental screening for women with dense or very dense breast tissue. Dr. Suri recommends that women get regular mammograms as suggested by their doctor. If they have been informed that they have dense breast tissue, they should talk to their doctor about their specific risk and additional screening tests that might be appropriate.