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Kentucky Breast Care first to offer contrast-enhanced mammograms

New technology clearly shows location and size of cancer

SOMERSET, Ky. (Nov. 26, 2014) – There are only two places in the United States offering the most advanced breast mammogram technology: Kentucky Breast Care in Somerset and the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. This new advancement in breast cancer detection is to use contrast-enhanced technology in conjunction with 2D and 3D mammograms.

The contrast-enhanced mammogram clearly shows the location and size of the breast cancer, as compared with traditional mammogram view, where the cancer is more difficult to see.

Kentucky Breast Care brought this cutting-edge technology to rural Kentucky without a special grant or any government assistance. This advancement resulted from collaboration between KBC and Hologic, which is a leader in the medical equipment field and is well-known for its 3D mammography machines.

KBC was the first clinic to offer 3D screening mammograms in Kentucky and has the most experience interpreting 3D mammograms. After some design iterations, one of Hologic’s mammography machines (at KBC) was modified to allow the contrast-enhanced technology. Thus, KBC has the ability to perform 2D, 3D and contrast-enhanced views for its patients.

Dr. Andrea Woodroof is excited about the new technology, because it allows her to find breast cancer at the earliest possible stages, when treatment and survival has the highest probability.

“If you look at a regular mammogram, fatty tissue appears as a black color, but everything else in your breast (normal glandular tissue, cysts, fibrocystic change, calcium and cancer) appears as a white color,” Woodroof said. “So, finding a white breast cancer in the middle of white glandular tissue can be very challenging, and sometimes, those cancers cannot be seen. In 2012, when KBC brought 3D mammogram technology to Kentucky, we were able to find more of those obscured cancers. Now that we are using contrast-enhanced technology, (along with 2D and 3D), we can do even better and raise the standard of care to a whole new level, which will save lives.”