Published on September 16, 2022

Dr Kella

Battling Breast Cancer Better

Adventist HealthCare has a new tool to help women with dense breasts detect cancer.

The 3D Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS) makes early detection easier for women with dense breasts. The technology is now available in our community for the first time thanks to a generous donation to the Shady Grove Medical Center Foundation.

Women with dense breasts are four to six times more likely to develop breast cancer, so early detection is essential for them. Often, it’s harder for doctors to identify cancer in these patients using mammography alone. Dense breasts are simply when a woman has more fibrous breast tissue. On a normal mammogram, this dense tissue appears white. Masses or lumps look similar and may be masked by the tissue. ABUS imaging is better able to distinguish between the two.

“Women come in all shapes and sizes and about 40% of women have dense breasts. You can’t tell by looking, and it’s detected through mammography only. You are given a report after your mammogram that will let you know if you have dense breasts,” stated Sonya Kella, MD, director of Women’s Imaging at Adventist HealthCare.

Your doctor may recommend ABUS as an additional screening option for breast cancer if you have dense breasts.

Including the ABUS screening as part of your annual mammogram can increase the ability to detect any breast cancer by 35%. Dr. Kella added: “This is not a replacement for your mammogram. It’s an additional screening tool for women with dense breasts. Mammograms are still the best tool for detecting breast cancer for all women over the age of 40.”

Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Breast Center in Rockville, Maryland, is the only location in Montgomery County to offer ABUS.

“Adding the ABUS to the comprehensive breast imaging program at Adventist HealthCare will help detect breast cancer in more women, increasing their treatment options and survival rates. I encourage you to talk with your doctor about your breast cancer risk and what options are available to you,” said Dr. Kella.

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