Better Breast Cancer Detection Through ABUS Technology

Feb 25 • 2016

Having a mammogram is a great way to take control of your breast health, but did you know that almost 40 percent of women have dense breasts? This means they have more glandular tissue than fat, making it more likely that lumps or masses are hidden from a standard mammogram. Because of this, women with dense breasts are much more likely to develop breast cancer.

Baptist Memorial Health Care recently announced the availability of its Automated Breast Ultrasound Technology, or ABUS. It uses sonic waves to create a 3D photo of the breasts rather than using radiation like a typical screening mammogram. While this should not be used as a replacement for traditional mammography, they can be paired together to help doctors better diagnose breast cancer in women with dense breasts.

Patricia Holderfield is one of many women who have taken advantage of this breast cancer screening technology.

“When I went for the ABUS exam, I had no clue what to expect,” she said. “I was surprised that it was small – after all, it has the word ‘bus’ as a part of its name. It put me in a kind of scanner with a long, maneuverable arm. It is so much more comfortable and easier than the mammogram.”

For Patricia, the threat of breast cancer was very real. Within the last year, she had a close family friend that was diagnosed with the disease.

“Because of early detection, her life was saved,” she said. “It was just the size of a pen. Something that small was detected and removed. Thank God.”

Getting a screening can be scary, but the value is immeasurable. If you’ve been told in the past that you have dense breasts, it is important to speak with your doctor about getting an ABUS breast cancer screening in addition to your mammogram.

“I believe this technology will help save more lives than ever before,” said Patricia. “But you have to come in for the exam.”

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