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Women With Breast Dense Tissue Have New Tool In Arsenal To Detect Cancer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Finding cancer in women with dense breasts isn’t easy, but now there’s a new way to spot a tumor.

Mammograms are still the gold standard, according to Dr. Debra Somers Copit, Director of Breast Imaging for Einstein Healthcare Network. She says for the 50 percent of women with dense breast tissue, adding molecular breast imaging may help doctors detect tumors earlier as physicians inject a nuclear medicine into the body which lights up breast cancer.

“This dose is now the same dose as a mammogram, so it’s a really low dose and it’s not to the breast, it’s a nuclear medicine study,” Copit said. “So it’s distributed through out the whole body, but it’s much, much lower than almost any other test in radiology cat scans, things like that.”

Copit says the test takes about 40 minutes, which is longer than a mammogram. Fortunately, many insurance companies will cover the cost.

She says dense breast tissue makes it more difficult for doctors to spot cancers with mammograms.

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