Karmanos to offer Molecular Breast Imaging

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DETROIT — The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit is the first hospital in the Midwest to offer the newest molecular breast imaging device – GE Healthcare’s Discovery* NM750b. This molecular breast imaging  technology makes it possible to detect breast cancer in women considered to be at high-risk, especially those with dense breast tissue.

“Although molecular breast imaging does not take the place of mammography, it offers another option for patients who need additional imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging,” said Sharon Helmer, M.D., clinical service chief, Imaging Department, and director, Breast Imaging, Karmanos Cancer Center; and clinical associate professor, Wayne State University School of Medicine. “The MBI system allows better detection of very small lesions in women with dense breast tissue. Not only will this help eliminate false positives, it may help to detect breast cancers earlier when the disease is highly survivable.”

MBI looks similar to and replicates the views acquired by mammography but it does not produce X-ray radiation. The compression is approximately 30 percent of a standard mammogram. Instead, MBI uses a nuclear isotope to detect tumors. The patient receives a small injection of a radioactive tracer that locates metabolically active tumors (showing blood flow.) The device uses leading-edge, solid-state Cadmium Zinc Telluride dual detectors that produce outstanding image quality and up-close positioning, allowing for increased imaging sensitivity right up to the chest wall. The patient can choose to sit or stand while the scanning takes place. Each image view takes up to 10 minutes.

MBI captures clear, precise images, even for those with dense breast tissue. Unlike MRI, MBI is safe for those who have pacemakers, metal implants or other foreign bodies, and patients with renal challenges. It’s also an option for those who are claustrophobic, have silicone implants, and for those whose weight or size exceeds the allowable limit for MRI.

For those with dense breast tissue, MBI’s innovative technology will help reduce false positives and will outperform standard mammography. In addition, MBI is cost-effective and can safely and efficiently monitor the patient to track treatment effectiveness and to detect any signs of disease reoccurrence.

“We are extremely happy to be able to offer this exciting technology to those in our community,” said Helmer. “MBI is one more powerful tool that will help us identify breast cancer early so we can provide the patient with the best treatment options and best outcome.”  

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