Mercy Adds Contrast-Enhanced Mammography for Patients at High Risk for Breast Cancer

October 6, 2023

New technology to aid in the early detection of breast cancer for high-risk patients is now available at the Coletta Building at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City.

Contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM) is a mammogram that uses intravenous contrast dye. The dye collects in the blood vessels of abnormal tissues, enabling a breast radiologist to study those areas in more detail. The technology, SenoBright HD, is a diagnostic exam that takes only seven minutes to complete.

“What’s great about the CESM technology is that we’re able to see lesions that might have previously gone undetected in a routine mammogram,” said Dr. Melanie Pearce, breast radiologist at Mercy Breast Center in the Coletta Building. “Normal screening mammograms are still the gold standard technology for many patients, but this new contrast-enhanced mammogram is ideal for patients who previously had breast cancer, have dense breast tissue or are at an elevated risk for a breast cancer diagnosis.”

Mercy doctor's coat SenoBright HD mammography at Mercy Breast Center - Coletta.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women in the United States, with around 300,000 new diagnoses every year. But thanks to early detection and advancements in treatment options, the death rate has decreased every year since 1989 for an overall decline of 43%.

“Enhanced mammography provides the latest technology in breast cancer detection and helps patients and physicians optimize treatment planning,” said Dr. Carla Kurkjian, oncologist and chair of oncology services at Mercy in Oklahoma City.  

Experts at the American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging recommend most women receive an annual mammogram starting at age 40. Patients must be referred by a physician for CESM and qualify based on their medical and family history.

To learn more, visit mercy.net/ContrastMammo