Our local, small-town hospital has begun advertising this new imaging technology that reportedly in some cases can eliminate wait times for other types of follow up and even reduce the number of biopsies performed. Here is some info on this specific system:
"BSGI is made possible by a unique camera ... This high-resolution camera creates clear pictures so your doctor can see lesions as small as 3 millimeters. It can detect early stage cancers, see lesions even in dense tissue, and provide multiple angle views to ensure the whole breast is examined from different directions. The result is quicker and more accurate detection of breast cancer than with mammography alone."
This sounds like a very promising technology breakthrough -- not a replacement for mammography but a additional diagnostic tool. Do you have any feedback (positive or negative) regarding this? Is the Cleveland Clinic using this technology or have you considered it?
If the promises are true, this could be a big step in easing a lot of the worry and stress women face when "something" is found on their mammogram. Gals, you might want to check into this.
Dear SnowWoman: We are aware of this technology. Actually, the technology itself has been around for quite some time. Originally, the images were created with a larger camera and were not easy to interpret. The "new" smaller camera does improve the image quality. At the Cleveland Clinic, we do not use this technique as it is not approved for screening. Mammography remains the standard of care with ultrasound and MRI being used to assist in clarification of certain abnormalities. When these techniques are used according to the prescribed indications, we find that most insurance companies reimburse without problems. In some cases of newly diagnosed breast cancer a PET (positron emission tomography) scan may be used to further define the extent of the problem. This is also a nuclear medicine test (like the technology you mention) but is believed to produce superior images. This is extremely expensive technology so many smaller institutions may not have the PET scan ability and it is not appropriate for routine screening.
Thanks for the info. I know our local hospital has MRI technology but they may not have PET technology and this may be their way of compensating for that with a lower cost alternative. They have been advertising and promoting this heavily so hopefully it does help in some cases.
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