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Bradley Memorial first in state with advanced tool to detect breast cancer

Southington [June 16 2005] - Bradley Memorial Hospital is the first Connecticut hospital to offer one of the most advanced tools for detecting breast cancer—high resolution scinti-mammography or Breast Specific Gamma Imaging. This technology has been shown to provide clearer and more concise images to women with questionable mammograms, helping doctors provide more accurate results and quicker answers than many other diagnostic tests.

“We’re happy to bring this advanced technique to the women of Central Connecticut,” says Dr. Jean Weigert, Director of Women’s Imaging. “It is an important new weapon in the fight against breast cancer.”

Breast Specific Gamma Imaging produces images on a cellular or molecular level, which helps to differentiate cancers from other structures or noncancerous tissues in the breast. This high resolution scinti-mammography helps detect cancers at very early stages, allowing for early intervention and treatment. It also has the potential to significantly reduce the number of biopsies that occur when no cancer is present.

“Often, when a mammogram is not definitive, women undergo a biopsy, either with a needle or surgically, in which a sample of the suspicious tissue is removed, then analyzed,” Weigert explained. “With this outstanding new technology, we hope to find and detect cancers as quickly and easily as possible, while avoiding unnecessary invasive procedures for women whose lesions are not cancerous.”
X-ray mammography is still the first-line imaging tool for breast cancer, but there are some cases when mammography results are not definitive. These include cases when women have dense breast tissue, multiple suspicious lesions, lumps that can be felt but do not show up on mammography or ultrasound, or when women are taking replacement hormones or have breast implants.

When a woman undergoes high resolution scinti-mammography she is given a tracer that is absorbed by the metabolic processes of the cells in the breast tissue. Because cancer cells have a higher level of metabolic activity than normal cells, they absorb more tracer. These high tracer levels appear as a dark “hot spots” that are captured by the gamma camera, and are easily visible to the radiologist.

If hot spots are detected, further investigation, including biopsy, may be necessary. Conversely, if no hot spots are found, the results are considered negative, and no further testing is needed.

Contact: Helayne Lightstone, 860-224-5470

HCC Corporate Communications
(860) 224-5695 • Fax (860) 224-5779