Every year an alarming amount of women are diagnosed with breast cancer and usually it’s at a point where the breast needs to be removed. However a new supplemental medical technology, Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI), is now detecting early stage tumors that have been missed in the past and found at a later date when enlarged. Even more amazing, the MBI is finding tumors that are surrounded by thick breast tissues, something past mammograms could now do.
The Mayo Clinic study that conducted this research and findings included 1,585 woman who had thick or particularly thick breasts. The women all received a MBI exam while they went in for their routine mammogram, and the findings were mind blowing.
The MBI was able to detect invasive yet hidden breast cancers by more than 360 percent when paired with the traditional mammogram. How is this done? MBI uses extremely tiny semiconductor based gamma cameras that take multiple pictures of the breast. An injection of radiotracer is then added to the breast tissue which is absorbed rabidly by any existing tumors. MIBI can than view those tumors and can record the tumors behavior in the background tissue. A mammography and ultrasound can detect tumors, but not like this and not in women who have thicker breasts.
Do many women have thicker tissue breasts? According to M.D Deborah Rhodes and Sr. author of the Mayo Clinic Breast Study, more than half of all women have dense breast tissue.
More results that followed:
21 of the 1,585 women were diagnosed with cancer
19 women’s results were found with MBI plus mammography (91%)
5 women’s results were found with mammography only (24%)
Four-Fold Increase was detected in the invasive cancers. (1.9 invasive cancers)
Unfortunately more unnecessary biopsies were taken because of this study. With just a mammography, 1 in 100 women needed a biopsy, with a mammography plus MBI, 4 in 100 women need a biopsy. However when this is compared to
older medical technology like mammography’s plus ultrasounds, it is less with 8 in 100 women needing a biopsy.
These findings will be a game changer in the medical field as more clinics are now required to notify women who have denser breasts to come in for additional screenings. With the MBI technology available to breast clinics, these additional screenings can be reduced the first time around as women with denser breasts can undergo an MBI screening.
The MBI machine also is uncovering additional cancers that are usually missed during the first initial screening. In fact, supplemental cancer rates are at 1.9 per 1000 women screened with whole breast ultrasounds, 1.2-2.8 per 1000 women screened with digital breast tomosynthesis, and now an additional 8.8 cancers per 1000 women through MB I.
The inventor of the MBI technology, Michael O’Conner, is looking at this study as a large accomplishment serving important data because of the amount of detection rates. This study has proven that the MBI can perform low radiation screenings with high results, meaning it’s safe to use and ready for clinics to start using. More about this study can be found here.