Tool funded with proceeds from Palmetto Health Foundation’s Walk for Life/Race for Life
Palmetto Health has added an automated whole-breast ultrasound machine to its breast cancer arsenal. Funded with proceeds from Palmetto Health Foundation’s Walk for Life/Race for Life, the whole-breast ultrasound is supplementary, computer-guided ultrasound examination of both breasts that can find small cancers mammography may miss. According to statistics, 40 percent of all women have dense breast tissue. Adding ultrasound to traditional mammography helps find cancers in this breast type that mammography may miss.
Mammography, the industry standard for breast screening, has been clinically proven to reduce deaths from breast cancer. However, sometimes the physical characteristics of dense breast tissue cause mammography to not show cancers as clearly in women with dense breasts. Extensive density can hide tumors. Ultrasound is not a replacement for screening mammography, but studies show that an ultrasound examination, in conjunction with a mammogram, can find more cancers in women with dense breasts than mammography alone. Automated Whole-Breast Ultrasound is approved by the FDA as an additional examination in conjunction with screening mammography.
Radiologist Shawn Conwell, M.D., who specializes in reading mammography, knows what this additional tool can do to help women. “Early detection is the key to helping women get the treatment they need to have the highest survival rate. This computer-guided ultrasound system adds another tool so that we find even more cancers earlier. Now, all women who have dense breasts will have the opportunity to have an additional screening that can make a significant difference. We are always striving to do everything that we can to improve women’s chances. We are proud to add this tool to our arsenal.”
Conwell added, “Since this tool was funded with proceeds from Palmetto Health Foundation’s Walk for Life/Race for Life, the Center is able to offer screenings at a more affordable price. We want to thank everyone who participates in this yearly event for making this available to your community. It’s another example of seeing your hard work help others in this community.”
Samuel Tenenbaum, president of Palmetto Health Foundation, agreed. “Last October, more than 11,000 people registered for Walk for Life/Race for Life, and thousands of people raised funds for Palmetto Health Breast Center. They didn’t just walk or run. They became an investor in the Palmetto Health Breast Center. Their support is a gift to our community and speaks volumes about their commitment to having the very best health care options right here at home.”
Women who get their mammogram at Palmetto Health will be notified that they have dense breast tissue so they will know if this additional screening is right for them. In addition to Automated Whole-Breast Ultrasound, in early 2015, the Breast Center will implement 3D tomosynthesis mammography, another imaging technology to aid in the early detection of breast cancers. For more information about Palmetto Health Breast Center, call 803-296-CARE (2273).