Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) has invested in a new ultrasound technology designed specifically for screening dense breast tissue. The Invenia Automated Breast Ultrasound System (ABUS) 2.0, by GE, is the only FDA approved system of its kind. PMC is the only hospital in the area with this technology, and it adds another layer of breast cancer screening capability to PMC’s Diagnostic Center.

ABUS is a supplemental exam for women who discover they have dense tissue by traditional mammography. When used in addition to a mammogram, ABUS can improve breast cancer detection by 37.5 percent over mammography alone.

“This technology, by no means, replaces mammograms because you need both. This gives us an additional exam to help diagnose breast cancer earlier,” explained PMC Ultrasound Manager Athena Blackburn. “We can detect smaller cancers by using them together for patients with dense tissue.”

Approximately 40 percent of women have dense breasts, one of the most common risk factors for developing breast cancer. Seventy-one percent of breast cancers are found in dense breasts. ABUS works by using echoes from sound waves to map out an image of the breast. Different tissues, such as tumors, have a signature look.

GE provided extensive training to PMC radiologists and ultrasound technologists on how to administer the exam and how to interpret the results.

Blackburn urges women to be proactive about breast health. The prognosis for breast cancer is far better when cancer is detected early, and the treatment options are dramatically different. It is important to ask your physician to order an ABUS screening if the results of a mammogram indicate dense breast tissue.

PMC’s Diagnostic Center is located at 911 Bypass Road in Pikeville.

For more information about the services offered at PMC, call 606-218-3500.