OSF Saint Anthony is on the leading-edge of breast care by now offering the automated breast ultrasound system (ABUS), which is approved by the FDA for breast cancer screening as an adjunct to mammography for asymptomatic women with dense breast tissue and no prior interventions.
“We are excited to add the automated breast ultrasound system to our comprehensive breast cancer screening program,” said Joseph Micho, MD, OSF Saint Anthony radiologist. “By offering ABUS in addition to mammography for our patients with dense breast tissue, we anticipate 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 practice for the detection of breast cancer.”
According to multiple large studies, 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. One study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed mammography sensitivity is reduced by 36 to 38 percent in women with dense breasts, as density masks the appearance of tumors (Boyd, et al, NEJM 2007:356:227-36M). As breast density increases, the accuracy of mammograms decreases (Kolb et al Radiology, October 2002).
“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,” added Dr. Micho. “Designed and built specifically for screening, research shows that ABUS technology as an adjunct to mammography has the potential to find additional cancers that would not have been found with mammography alone.”
The ABUS system is designed to enhance the consistency, reproducibility and sensitivity of whole breast ultrasound, demonstrating a 35.7 percent improvement in cancer detection in women with dense breasts without prior breast intervention (FDA PMA Approval P110006, Sept. 18, 2012.)
The OSF Saint Anthony Women’s Center recommends that women get regular mammograms as suggested by their doctors, and if they have been informed that they have dense breast tissue, they should talk to their doctors about their specific risks and additional screening tests that might be appropriate