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St. Luke's first to offer new cancer diagnosing technology to women with dense breasts
St. Luke's Hospital was the first facility in St. Louis and the second in the United States to be accredited in mammography by the American College of Radiology (ACR). St. Luke's is also designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the ACR for excellence in breast imaging. In keeping with being on the leading edge of cancer discovery and treatment, St. Luke's also became the first hospital in Missouri to offer the SonoCiné breast ultrasound exam to patients with dense breasts.

According to research, two out of five women have dense breast tissue. Researchers have found that breast density is a predictor of increased risk for developing breast cancer. Women with dense breasts have a four-to-six times higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to women with less dense breasts.

This density can also make finding abnormalities in the breast difficult since both dense areas and tumors show up white on a mammogram. Women with dense breasts can now consider adding the SonoCiné exam to their yearly mammograms. The SonoCiné exam is not a substitution for screening mammography.

SonoCiné is an automated whole breast ultrasound (AWBU) exam that, when added to an annual mammogram, may find additional and smaller cancers than mammography alone. The SonoCiné exam is also computer-guided, requires no breast compression or injections and is permanently recorded for physician review and follow-up.

A study recently published in the journal European Radiology reported the benefits of adding the SonoCiné exam to a standard mammogram. In 6,425 cases, it found that breast cancer detection doubled from 23 cancers discovered by mammography alone to 46 using AWBU along with mammography. In addition, the number of detected invasive cancers 10 millimeters or less in size tripled from 7 to 21 when AWBU findings were added to mammography. The study concluded that AWBU resulted in significant cancer detection improvement compared with mammography alone in women with dense breast tissue.

"SonoCiné is literally a lifesaver and a welcome addition to our diagnostic tools for women," says Carrie Morrison, MD, director of Breast Imaging at St. Luke's. "Finding cancers early will help us save countless lives and bring more confidence to those receiving care."

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