Cutting-edge technology to better detect breast cancer has come to the Delaware Valley

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Cutting-edge technology to better detect breast cancer. Jim Gardner reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on May 24, 2017. (WPVI)

A new imaging technique has arrived in Philadelphia, to help find breast cancer.

And it can help women for whom mammograms might not be enough.

M-B-I, or molecular breast imaging, is designed to find tumors in dense breast tissue.

Mammograms have been the best tool for breast cancer detection.

And the latest version, 3D mammography, also known as tomosynthesis, can find tumors earlier.

However, it does have limitations for the up to 50% of women with dense breasts because both tumors and the dense tissue show up white on the screen.

"This woman has a cancer in her breast, but you cannot see it either with the 2 dimensional mammogram or the tomosynthesis," says Dr. Debra Copit, of Einstein Medical Center's Women's Health Center.

But with MBI, a mass barely a third of an inch long is clearly visible.

"This technology will find those cancers, without producing many false positives," says Dr. Copit.

The test uses a tiny dose of a radioactive tracer that malignant cells are quick to ingest.

As a woman sits in front of the machine, 2 cameras take images of the breasts.

"A series of images are taken - two of each breast. And each image takes about 7 minutes," says Dr. Copit.

MBI doesn't use the same level of compression that mammograms use, so it is more comfortable.

Einstein will use MBI every other year along with mammograms, for women with dense breasts who have a high cancer risk, but can't receive a standard MRI test.

For more details, click here.

Related Topics:
healthhealthcheckbreast cancer
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