New Jersey: Radiology Center at Harding, a leading provider of top-quality medical imaging services to patients in Morris County and neighboring areas, has set up Hitachi's SOFIA 3D Whole Breast Ultrasound at its facilities. This innovative and highly efficient imaging technology is specially designed for the 40% of women of mammography age, who have dense breast tissue. The facility is available at the Radiology Center at Harding, for the first time ever in New Jersey.
While dense breasts are considered completely normal, they tend to hide cancer on a mammogram. In turn, this may reduce the ability of radiologists to find cancer, if present. For women with dense breasts, "negative," or "benign" mammogram does not reliably exclude cancer. In fact, the possibility of women with dense breasts having cancer detected soon after a "normal" or "negative" mammogram is very real. This is known as an "interval cancer" or cancer that’s detected between screening tests and professional exams.
Dense breasts and breast cancer: myth versus reality
Breast cancer is among the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in women – second only to lung cancer. But thanks to the advancement of diagnostic technologies, social innovation and timely medical intervention, death rates due to breast cancer have been on the decline. One of the prominent factors in improving the chances of breast cancer survival is early detection. So far, mammography remains the only screening technique that has proved effective in diagnosing breast cancer time and again. In addition, combining screening mammography with 3D whole breast ultrasound increases the ability to detect breast cancer from 78% to 92%.
However, may women put off the recommended mammography and ultrasound screening due to a combination of factors, including the lengthy exams, fear of pain and discomfort, unavailability of insurance cover, and so on. Lack of awareness about the availability and significance of advanced supplementary screening technologies, like ultrasound, is also a factor. A relatively painless, risk-free, efficient and less time-consuming technology that can be reimbursed by private health insurance players is the need of the hour.
Contrary to popular belief, breast density is not dependent on how a breast looks or feels, nor does the shape or size of the breast play any role in determining whether it is dense. A radiologist can only determine the breast density by examining the images from a mammogram. Dense breasts are identified in a mammogram when breasts show more dense tissue than fatty tissue. Dense tissue appears as white area on a mammogram, instead of transparent and dark, and this makes it difficult to see through. This white area can mask the appearance of cancer, hampering accurate diagnosis.
Having dense breasts puts women at higher risk for breast cancer. Breast density is a well-established predictor of breast cancer risk, exceeding family history. Mammography is known to miss every other cancer in dense breasts, so additional screening is often recommended. In fact, because breast density poses additional risks, state governments (36 states as of 2019) have passed legislation that requires providers to inform women of their breast density status and discuss what it means and what supplemental imaging options are available that can help detect breast cancer, earlier. Studies have shown that supplemental ultrasound exams in women with dense breasts can increase the number of cancers detected by 55%.
Hitachi's SOFIA 3D Whole Breast Ultrasound offers highly accurate breast ultrasound examination to women of all ages – particularly those with dense breasts. It eliminates the discomfort that women experience during breast screening, by way of being a more private and relatively pain-free experience. With an ergonomic design, the Hitachi SOFIA 3D Whole Breast Ultrasound scan is done with the patient lying in a prone position, with her bodyweight causing breast compression naturally. In addition to the ergonomics, Hitachi SOFIA 3D Whole Breast Ultrasound offers superior experience and usability in multiple ways:
- Scans at the rate of 30 seconds per breast, which reduces time taken drastically
- Seamless experience for technicians through touch-screens and fully automated scans on button-press
- Doubles as a scan bed for other diagnostic ultrasound exams
- Needs no lengthy pre-scan preparation or additional consumables
Hitachi SOFIA’s cutting-edge imaging technology utilizes ultrasound to scan the entire breast, while the patient lies in a comfortable prone position. There is no painful breast compression or radiation associated with this procedure. The scan produces 3D volumetric images of the breast for review by the radiologist.
Radiology Center at Harding
With a tradition of excellence in diagnostic imaging, Harding Radiology Center combines over 35 years of experience of its radiologists with the latest advances in the field of medical imaging. It functions with the mission of providing quality diagnostic imaging services in a soothing, comfortable environment. With an ACR accredited facility utilizing the latest technology and equipment, it remains on the cutting edge of diagnostic imaging techniques, offering patients and doctors tools that make quicker and more accurate diagnoses as a cost-effective alternative to surgical procedures.
The center’s state-of-the-art Radiology Information System and Picture Archiving Communications system (RIS/PACS) is the industry gold standard for digital archiving of all patient information and imaging. The full range of diagnostic imaging services include Open MRI, Computed Tomography (CT), 3D Mammography & 3D Automated Breast Ultrasound, Digital X-ray, DEXA and Ultrasound.
The center remains steadfast in its commitment to the health and wellness of its communities. This is especially true for diseases like cancer, where early detection and preventive screening can really make a difference. Hence, for women over the age of 50, those who have a family history of cancer, and who have dense breasts, the center recommends they consult their healthcare provider and discuss additional screening options.
To book an appointment, call: 908-221-0603
1201 Mount Kemble Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960