Dense Breast Tissue Screening Provides Early Detection Option for At-Risk Patients

Dense Breast Tissue Screening Provides Early Detection Option for At-Risk Patients



RENO, Nev. – Thursday, March 6, 2014 – Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center now offers the region's only FDA approved technology to screen for dense breast tissue. Automated Breast Ultrasound System (ABUS) is specifically designed to assist providers in finding cancerous tissue that may be hidden in dense breast tissue, something a traditional mammography can miss.

"This technology will be extremely beneficial for our patients and the early detection of cancer," said Steve Sweet, director of Imaging Services at Saint Mary's. "Providing our community with a new screening option will give women a sense of ease knowing there is a technology that can identify cancerous dense breast tissue."

With nearly 40 percent of women having dense breast tissue, it is believed that they have a greater risk of developing cancer than women who do not have dense breast tissue. While mammography remains the golden standard for early detection, finding cancers in women with dense breast tissue can be limited with mammography alone. Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the limitations of mammography screening to detect cancer. That is why an ABUS screening is recommended in conjunction with a mammography for women with dense breast tissue. There are many factors that influence breast density including age, hormone levels, genetics, age at first pregnancy and number of pregnancies, use of hormone replacement therapy and overall body weight – to name a few.

ABUS screening, as a complement to traditional mammography, provides a clearer image of the breast tissue so a provider may better differentiate healthy and cancerous tissue. Unlike mammography, ABUS screening uses sound waves to create 3D pictures of the breast. There are also many benefits to utilizing ABUS screening. The scanning process is efficient and is a more comfortable option for patients compared to other scanning devices. The full screening takes less than 15 minutes providing doctors with state-of-the-art 3D images in minutes. Additionally, ABUS is covered by most insurance providers making it an affordable option for those with dense breast tissue.

For more information about ABUS screening and to find out if you have dense breast tissue, call 775-770-3187 or visit


Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center

Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center based in Reno, Nev. is a 380-bed acute care hospital offering inpatient, outpatient and wellness services. Nationally recognized and accredited by the Joint Commission, Saint Mary's offers a robust line of services including a top-rated Center for Cancer featuring the region's only CyberKnife radiosurgery delivery system, state-of-the-art William N. Pennington Emergency Room and Senior ER and a Cardiology program dedicated to long-term wellness. The health system also operates a fully-integrated Medical Group and a state-of-the-art Center for Health & Fitness. As a long-standing community partner, Saint Mary's is dedicated to ensuring the health and wellness of northern Nevada remains strong. For more information, visit

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