Imaging breast ultrasound testing at NLH this month

GLOVERSVILLE — Nathan Littauer Hospital’s diagnostic imaging department is testing Invenia ABUS 2.0–automated breast ultrasound system–starting this month, according to a news release.

The technology was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for breast cancer screening as an adjunct to mammography for women with dense breast tissue. It reportedly demonstrates a 35.7 percent improvement in cancer detection in women with dense breasts without prior breast intervention.

“At Nathan Littauer Hospital, we strive to provide our patients with the best technology available for their health care,” said Tammy Gerdes, senior mammography technologist.

Dense breast tissue has been found to be the most common risk factor for the development of cancer. It also makes cancer more difficult to detect using mammography, according to multiple large studies. As breast density goes up, the accuracy of mammograms goes down.

The difficulty radiologists experience when reading mammograms is that both dense tissue and cancer appear white on a mammogram. With ABUS, suspicious masses appear black against the white dense tissue, making visual interpretation much easier.

“The issue with a regular mammogram is that some patients may have pacemakers, implants, or dense breasts, making it very difficult to interpret a mammogram,” saids Dr. John Mastrangelo. “ABUS is a much more efficient screening, and the image is clearer. With this new system, we can detect up to two to six more cancers in conjunction with a women’s mammogram.”

In early 2019, a national density inform law was passed that mandates that the FDA update mammography reporting so that women be notified if their breasts are dense. Providers may offer supplemental imaging as appropriate to help find cancers hiding in dense breast tissue.

The unique challenges of breast cancer screening led to important technology innovations that result high resolution images that can be acquired rapidly, the release stated. Clinically, this offers an efficient option that provides enhanced resolution and contrast, making the Invenia ABUS 2.0 system well-positioned to address the workflow challenges of breast cancer screening and improve the detection of breast cancer, in women with dense breasts.

Mastrangelo recommends that “Women should get regular mammograms as suggested by their doctor. If they have been informed that they have dense breast tissue, they should talk to their doctor or radiologist about their specific risk and additional screening tests that might be appropriate.”

For more information about ABUS Invenia 2.0, visit www.gehealthcare.com/products/ultrasound/abus-breast-imaging/invenia-abus.