New diagnostic technology to detect breast cancer

"We were ready to start a family when a mammogram revealed an abnormal mass in my left breast," said Staci Sansolo, 34, of New Jersey. A biopsy revealed the mass was not cancer, but a second-round test found another area of concern.

Due to family history of breast cancer, Sansolo underwent Molecular Breast Imaging/Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging (MBI/BSGI) to rule out any additional abnormalities. The new diagnostic technology found another suspicious area, and this time a biopsy confirmed malignancy. Staci's cancer was found at the earliest stage thanks to MBI/BSGI.

With MBI/BSGI, physicians are able to view cellular activity that can reveal breast cancer, even in difficult-to-screen breasts. This new technology helps physicians and their patients "see what matters" and discover cancer early so treatment can begin and greatly increase the chances for survival.

MBI/BSGI utilizes a high-resolution, compact gamma camera called the Dilon 6800®. The patient receives a pharmaceutical tracing agent that is absorbed by all the cells in the body. Due to their increased rate of metabolic activity, cancerous cells in the breast absorb a greater amount of the tracing agent than normal, healthy cells and generally appear as "dark spots" on the MBI/BSGI image. BSGI is used as a follow-up to mammography, and is especially useful for patients who have dense breasts, scar tissue, implants, or palpable lesions that cannot be detected using mammography or ultrasound.

A Second Opinion

When Sansolo's mammogram came back abnormal, her mother, a breast cancer survivor, suggested a second opinion from her own physician, Dr. Susan K. Boolbol, Chief of Breast Surgery at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York. It was Dr. Boolbol who ordered the MBI/BSGI test.

A 2009 study from Beth Israel Medical Center revealed that additional breast cancer was found in 9 percent of patients when screened with MBI/BSGI, as presented at the American Society of Breast Surgeons 2009 Annual Meeting in San Diego.

"Especially in this month of breast cancer awareness, women need to know about new diagnostic tools that are helping to detect breast cancer," said Dr. Boolbol. "Technology is making it possible to perform tests in addition to mammography and ultrasound. BSGI is one more tool that we use to diagnose breast cancer early."

Thanks to the new technology of MBI/BSGI, Sansolo is enjoying motherhood with her baby girl and husband - an experience that may have been cut short if her cancer was not found so early.

"It gives me peace of mind to know that MBI/BSGI pinpointed the cancer and found what the mammograms and ultrasounds did not," said Sansolo. "Without it, who knows if my cancer would have been detected as quickly as it was."


Dilon Diagnostics


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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