Technology at Baptist Health assists in detecting breast cancer
Hill Breast Center MBI system helps with dense breast tissue
October 16, 2014 | Jacksonville, FL
Barbara Hughes has always been vigilant about her own breast screenings after her mother had breast cancer in 2008 and a history of cysts.
Her vigilance and advanced technology at the Hill Breast Center at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville helped detect a cancerous tumor earlier this year about the size of a pencil eraser despite Hughes having dense breasts, which can hide cancer. She also had a biopsy.
The Hill Breast Center is the only center in the state that has a LumaGem® Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) system, a new technology for detecting breast cancer in patients with complex mammograms and dense breast tissue. The MBI system is a secondary diagnostic tool intended for use when other breast imaging is inconclusive.
The technology is highly sensitive in its ability to detect breast cancer lesions as small as five millimeters, according to Gamma Medica, manufacturer of LumaGem.
“MBI or molecular breast imaging can be used in some patients to help gain a clearer picture,” Christine Granfield, MD, medical director of Breast Imaging for Baptist Health System/Hill Breast Center and partner with MBB Radiology. “MBI shows abnormal areas of increased cellular turnover/activity seen in breast cancer. The system uses gamma rays, which are less influenced by dense tissue than X-rays, and an injectable tracer. The images reveal the abnormal breast areas as dark spots.”
The system looks similar to a mammogram, but patients are sitting down and there is less compression.
Dr. Granfield said some patients who can benefit from this technology include: complex diagnostic cases; patients where an MRI has been recommended, but is not an option (metal implants, claustrophobia); and dense-breasted patients with a strong family history or personal history of breast cancer. But she also cautions that MBI does not replace mammograms, rather the technology complements mammograms and other available tools.
“MBI has become a very useful tool,” said Linda Allen, director of Women’s Imaging Services for Baptist Health. “We’ve had patients very relieved their imaging showed they did not have cancer and we had other patients who were appreciative that this diagnostic tool was available so they could move to the next step in planning their treatment.”
Hughes, 67, of Mandarin, who had her tumor removed followed by radiation, is thankful her cancer was detected so early and she did not have to have her breast removed.
“The MBI was more conclusive and took a deeper picture. The machine was more comfortable and I was able to sit down,” Hughes said. “The staff at the Hill Breast Center went above and beyond as far as explaining to me what they were doing and why they were doing it. I am very blessed they were able to find the tumor so early. If a friend of mine or my sisters were up for their mammogram, I would recommend they come to the Hill Breast Center because of all the technology at the center.”
For more information on the Hill Breast Center call 904. 202.7465.