Automated Ultrasound Can Improve Breast Cancer Detection In Women With Dense Breasts
by Elaine Schattner – Contributor Forbes Magazine
Recently I considered how breast ultrasound has the potential to enhance the sensitivity of screening for breast cancer in women with dense breasts. Having dense, or fibroglandular, breasts is a benign condition affecting as many as 40 to 50 percent of middle-aged women. This matters in screening, because dense breast glands appear cloudy in mammograms, obscuring tumors.
Supplemental screening by ultrasound is a contentious issue. That’s in part because among radiologists, not all agree that the sound-wave technology is the best way to check dense breasts for cancer, or that it’s economically feasible.
One possible solution to lower the costs and improve screening, both, is to automate the process. Over the long haul – after a hospital or radiology practice has invested in a machine and software to go with it, and training – automated ultrasound systems can render screening faster, reliable and more accurate.
GE Healthcare manufactures the only automated breast ultrasound screening (ABUS) system that’s received FDA approval for supplemental screening of women with dense breasts.
“With ultrasound we’re improving our ability to find breast cancers that are small and early-stage” said Dr. Monica Saini, a radiologist in Santa Fe. Before settling in New Mexico, the Chicago-raised physician completed a breast imaging fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle. She’s been in private practice for approximately seven years at Santa Fe Imaging.
Last year, her practice purchased an ABUS machine from GE Healthcare. The radiology group is affiliated with Christus St. Vincent Hospital, a medical center that serves approximately 75,000 people in and around Santa Fe. It’s one of the largest hospitals in the region. Both the practice and hospital accept most forms of private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, Saini told me in a phone interview.
To read more about Automated Ultrasound and Dr. Monica Saini’s input CLICK HERE