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!).