Not only do women with increased breast density have a higher risk for breast cancer, their cancers are much harder to detect in early stages with mammography.
One thing that is known to interfere with the early detection of breast cancer with mammograms is a woman’s breast density. Breast density can make breast cancer difficult for a radiologist to see on a mammogram. Women under age 50 tend to have more density in their breasts than women who are older, but density may be present in women of all ages and is estimated to exist in 40% to 60% of all women who have mammograms. Women who have more fibrous connective and glandular tissue than fatty tissue in their breasts have more breast density. Research has also shown that women who have dense breast tissue are four to six times more likely to develop breast cancer in their lifetime than women who do not have dense breast tissue. So, not only do women with increased breast density have a higher risk for breast cancer, their cancers are much harder to detect in early stages with mammography.
The somo•v Automated Breast Ultrasound System (ABUS) is the result of 10 years of research and development. The system methodically scans a woman’s breast capturing multiple ultrasound images that can be rendered and reviewed in 3D.
For the ABUS exam, the patient is positioned comfortably on the exam table. A technologist attaches a sheer membrane to the ultrasound scanner and applies a coupling lotion to the breast. A layer of lightly scented lotion is applied, which helps to make the 3D picture of your breast. To ensure the best image quality, the sheer membrane of the somo•v ABUS is firmly positioned on your breast. The technologist presses a button to begin the scanning process, which lasts about 60 seconds.
Most women report the procedure to be comfortable, but some women with very sensitive breast tissue have described the procedure to be uncomfortable.
The technologist will take three scans of each breast: the front, outer and inner sides. The somo•v ABUS exam takes less than 15 minutes from the time you walk in the room, providing your doctor with a state-of-the-art 3D ultrasound of the inside of your breasts regardless of your breast density class.
After all relevant images are acquired, the patient exam is complete and the patient leaves the room. The ultrasound images are then sent to the somo•VIEWer workstation for storage and where the physician may review them at any time, either immediately following the exam or at a later point in the patient’s care, in a variety of 3D viewing layouts.