Press Release


October 26, 2017

Diagnosing breast cancer in its earliest stages is crucial. For women with dense breast tissue, detection can be more difficult. Indiana University Health Arnett now offers the Invenia ™ ABUS (Automated Breast Ultrasound System), approved by the FDA for breast cancer screening as an adjunct to mammography for asymptomatic women with dense breast tissue and no prior interventions. This new technology offers the community a new screening tool to detect breast cancer earlier.

“Mammography is an effective tool for the detection of breast cancer; however, it doesn’t work equally well in all women, particularly those with dense breast tissue,” added Phyllis Martin-Simmerman, MD, IU Health Arnett Radiologist.  “Designed and built specifically for screening, research shows that ABUS technology as an adjunct to mammography can find additional cancers in this population.”

Breasts are made out of fat and breast tissue. Some women have more fat than breast tissue while others have more breast tissue than fat. When there is more breast tissue, the

mammogram looks white and is considered dense. Since masses or lumps also appear white on a mammogram, a lump may be masked by the dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue is also linked with an increase in the risk of developing breast cancer. Women who have dense or extremely dense breasts can be 6 times more likely to develop cancer Dense breast tissue is not an abnormal condition, nor is it something that you can individuals can readily change. Dense breast tissue is common, 40% of women have dense breast tissue.

Dr. Martin-Simmerman recommends that women should have yearly mammograms beginning at age 40 and if they have been informed that they have dense breast tissue, they should talk to their doctor about their specific risk and additional screening tests that might be appropriate.

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