MBI — much kinder than BMI!Posted: January 30, 2013 Filed under: breast cancer | Tags: dense breast tissue, dense breasts, mammograms, MBI, Methodist Hospital Sugar Land, Methodist Hospital Sugar Land Breast Center, molecular breast imaging 8 Comments
The other day I wrote about breast density and the state laws requiring mammogram providers to give notice when a woman they screen has dense breasts. In a curious twist of fate — the sort that makes me take notice of such coincidences — today I read about Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI), which is taking place at my local hospital. Kismet. I love it when that happens.
Dr Stephen Phillips, a radiologist at the Methodist Sugar Land Breast Center, wrote an article about MBI, proudly announcing that my local hospital is the first one in the greater Houston area to offer MBI as a secondary screening. This is no small feat considering H-town is the epicenter of medical care.
Because conventional mammograms don’t always show tumors in dense breasts, MBI is quite promising. In clinical trials, MBI was successful in giving a clearer image than what can be obtained by a regular mammogram.
In addition, MBI can detect three times as many cancers in women with dense breasts, it is said to use one-third the compression pressure as a conventional mammogram, and it contains roughly the same amount of radiation as a digital mammogram. Win-win-win.
A radioactive dye is injected before the screening; if a tumor is present in the breast, it soaks up the radioactive tracer and lights up the screen.
This is great news, awesome news for all the dense-breasted women out there. And that it’s being used right in my neighborhood is pretty great, too. I knew I liked the Breast Center the first time I went there (and not just because of the priority parking spaces!).
It sounds very promising, but we all REALLY know that you like the special parking.
Love those parking signs! Had to laugh over the radioactive tracer– after I had that for the sentinel node mapping the night before my MX I went into the bathroom and turned off the lights to see if my chest was glowing in the dark. Sadly not, but it’s one of my (few) funny memories of that time. That procedure gave me some really cool xray type of photos of my “headlights”, back when I had them.For those who haven’t seen such images, there are absolute beacons shining from the nipple area, like a fembot in an Austin Powers movie. I haven’t looked at them since then because I’m not sure if they will make me laugh or cry. Maybe that’s one of the tests to see if I’m getting past things….
As a dense breasted woman, I find this to be really great news!
i had a palpable mass that turned out to be cancer. It was missed by mammograms because of dense breasts. Only at my own insistence and persistence, and after nearly a year of fighting, did they “agree” to send me for an ultrasound… at which point they found stage 2b breast cancer, from which i am a grateful survivor. My double mastectomy was within weeks after the media briefly exploded with stories about breast density and the need for further screening to provide accurate diagnosis. This is wonderful news and i really do hope this might be the beginning of even better diagnostics for people with dense breasts. thanks for sharing!
This is indeed exciting news! I got rid of my denseness (for the most part; some days my brain can be pretty dense too!), and this sure would have been a helpful tool a couple of years ago. YAY for medical advances and all the women this will benefit!
Very, very interesting. I wonder if this will soon be available everywhere.
I’m dense about breasts too.
And i’ve parked in those spots. Because they are the ONLY spots available. Ever. My car looks suburban mom enough to get away with it, and I don’t feel bad. Build more parking!
Seriously though, everything sounds awesome until I noticed the bit about radioactive dye. I’m all for it, but I can also guess that the dollar signs start ca-chinging. I would wish and hope that everyone gets perfect care, but if radioactive dye and an MRI (what I assume an MBI really is) cost 600-700 dollars a shot (that was what I paid for radioactive dye and an MRI of my shoulder), I’m thinking very few people will end up getting them.
Sorry, the Cancer parking spots I parked in were over at St. Luke’s, not Methodist. And I’m still mad I had to park in them.