Molecula breast imaging saved lives

Screening mammography is recognized as an imperfect imaging tool that performs poorly in women with dense breast tissue — a limitation which has driven demand for supplemental screening techniques. One potential supplemental technique is molecular breast imaging MBI. Significant improvements in gamma camera technology allow MBI to be performed at low radiation doses, comparable with those of tomosynthesis and mammography. A recent screening trial in women with dense breast tissue yielded a cancer detection rate of 3. MBI also demonstrated a lower recall rate than that of mammography. MBI is a promising supplemental screening technique in women with dense breast tissue.

How Molecular Breast Imaging Saves Lives

Molecular breast imaging: an emerging modality for breast cancer screening

The woman participating in a proof-of-concept clinical trial of molecular breast imaging MBI for screening use was at risk of breast cancer, despite religiously undergoing annual x-ray mammography in the five years since her 40th birthday. In those years, nothing suspicious had been detected in the shadowy presentation of her unusually dense breasts, and, again, nothing appeared on mammography images acquired in the Mayo Clinic trial. But when she was examined with molecular breast imaging, an intensely bright focus, indicative of a large lobular cancer, appeared on the images. MBI is the latest arrival in a new generation of functional breast imaging technology designed to overcome the limitations of anatomic breast imaging. Though mortality rates have declined, breast cancer remains a nefarious disease. In the U. It is no secret that cases escape notice through holes in the current diagnostic armamentarium of screening x-ray mammography, diagnostic mammography and ultrasound, and breast MRI.

Molecular breast imaging: an emerging modality for breast cancer screening

Almost 50 percent of women in the U. Dense breasts often show up on mammograms as indistinguishable from cancerous tumors, making it incredibly difficult to identify cancer. Additionally, according to the American College of Radiology, women with dense breast tissue are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer. To date, Breast Density Notification Law s have been passed in 28 states. The intent of these laws is to give women the information needed to help them and their referring doctor decide if additional screening is necessary.
Molecular breast imaging is a test that uses a radioactive tracer and special camera to find breast cancer. Rather than simply taking a picture of a breast, molecular breast imaging is a type of functional imaging. This means that the pictures it creates show differences in the activity of the tissue. Tissue that contains cells that are rapidly growing and dividing, such as cancer cells, appears brighter than less active tissue.
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