Southfield-based Beaumont Health today announced that its comprehensive breast cancer screening program at the Beaumont Breast Care Center in Dearborn is the first facility in the nation to install the Invenia Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS) 2.0 from GE Healthcare.
The offering is a comfortable, nonionizing alternative to other supplemental screening options for women with dense breast tissue, and is the only FDA-approved ultrasound for breast cancer screening.
“We are committed to informing patients about breast density, and offering supplemental screening options,” says Dr. Sophia Roumanis, section head of breast imaging and intervention at Beaumont’s Breast Care Center. “We are thrilled to add the Invenia ABUS 2.0 to our breast cancer screening program, which allows better visibility of dense breast tissue during breast cancer screenings.”
Approximately 40 percent of women in the U.S. have dense breasts, which are identified by routine screening mammograms.
Dense breast tissue not only increases the risk of breast cancer up to four to six times, but also makes cancer more difficult to detect if using mammography alone. Both cancer and dense tissue show up white on a mammogram, so looking for tumors in women with dense breasts can be like looking for a snowball in a snowstorm.
“We believe that automated breast ultrasound has the potential to find significantly more cancers than mammography alone in women with dense breasts,” says Luke Delaney, general manager of automated breast ultrasound at GE Healthcare. “We are continuously improving Invenia ABUS to ensure high image quality, workflow, and overall patient experience — which can all contribute to early detection and improved outcomes.”
Dr. Vidya Pai, section head of breast imaging and intervention at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, says the goal is to find cancers as early as possible and offer the best potential outcome for the patient. “By offering ABUS in addition to mammography for patients with dense breast tissue, we anticipate improving detection for small cancers that may not be seen on a mammogram alone in these women.”
Mammograms remain the gold standard for detecting breast tumors, according to physicians, but supplemental imaging options will make a significant difference for women with dense breasts.
“Mammograms are the map,” says Roumanis. “Giving patients more information is better, and supplemental screening by ultrasound is peace of mind for patients. We try to educate women when they come in for their screening mammogram and explain about dense breasts and ultrasound.”
Pai adds “when breast tissue is more dense, it can mask lesions. Cancers that are detected at an earlier stage are smaller and easier to treat.”
In 2015, Michigan became the 21st state to adapt the breast density legislation, which requires mammography providers to inform patients if they have dense breast tissue on screening mammography.
“We want to empower women to make more informed decisions about their breast health, and encourage them to talk with their physician about advanced screening options when making an appointment for routine screenings,” says Dr. Murray Rebner, fellowship director of breast imaging and intervention at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak and past president for the Society of Breast Imaging.
Beaumont Hospital in Troy is planning to implement the Invenia ABUS 2.0 for patient screenings in the future. Additional advanced screening technologies are also available at Breast Care Centers throughout Beaumont Health.