Monday, April 20, 2015
New Option for Breast Screenings
NEW ULTRASOUND MACHINE ALLOWS
FOR MORE SENSITIVE IMAGING OF DENSE BREASTS
COVINGTON - The St. Tammany Parish Hospital Women’s Pavilion now has leading technology that can provide a supplementary scan for cancer in women with dense breast tissue.
Automated whole-breast ultrasound does not replace the need for screening mammography, which is a highly effective cancer-screening tool, says Dr. Jennifer Daly, breast specialist and medical director at the Women’s Pavilion of St. Tammany Parish Hospital. But painless, radiation-free whole-breast ultrasound can be used in tandem with screening mammography as an additional tool to find cancer in dense breast tissue, she says.
“While annual screening mammograms continue to be the gold standard for breast cancer detection, whole-breast ultrasound is a safe, radiation-free option that can be used in conjunction with screening mammography as an additional tool to find cancer hidden in dense breast tissue.”Dr. Daly said.
Breast density is determined by the amount of fibroglandular tissue that appears on a mammogram, not by the look or feel of the breast. Cancer is easier to detect in women with fatty breasts because masses and other signs of breast cancer will appear white against dark, fatty tissue.
“Mammograms of women with dense breast tissue are harder to interpret because cancers can hide in the dense tissue but they may be detected using ultrasound before it is detectable by mammograms or felt by self-exams,” Dr. Daly said.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved automated whole-breast ultrasound for breast examination in conjunction with screening mammography. However, because it is considered a supplementary exam, most insurers do not cover its cost.
Dr. Daly encourages women with heterogeneously dense or extremely dense breast tissue to consider the option of whole-breast ultrasound screening tests. The examination of both breasts with whole-breast ultrasound takes 20 to 30 minutes and is available at the Women’s Pavilion five days a week.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Women’s Pavilion at 985-773-1500.
A full-service acute care facility committed to providing world-class healthcare and the latest technology, St. Tammany Parish Hospital delivers today’s life-improving procedures with the utmost care to area residents with emphasis on wellness, preventive care and disease management close to home. STPH is a self-supporting not-for-profit community hospital; it receives no ad valorem tax funding. STPH.org