LOW MOOR, Va. (June 18, 2021) — LewisGale Hospital Alleghany announced the use of an advanced approach to breast cancer detection – contrast-enhanced mammography (CEM) – an increasingly powerful tool in the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer.

Contrast-enhanced mammography is particularly effective in detecting and evaluating abnormal findings, particularly in women with dense breasts. According to the Centers of Disease Control, approximately 10 percent of women have extremely dense breasts and approximately 80 percent have either dense tissue scattered or evenly spread throughout the breasts. (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/dense-breasts.htm)

“Given that women with dense breasts have a higher chance of getting breast cancer, and dense tissue can hide cancers, this advanced approach is a potential game changer in breast cancer screening and diagnosis,” said Dr. Ronald Broadwell, radiologist at LewisGale Hospital Alleghany.

Contrast-enhanced mammography uses specialized techniques to further enhance mammography imagery in order to detect hard-to-find cancers in their early stages.

 “Contrast-enhanced mammography provides the same confidence as an MRI, but at a much lower cost to the patient, said Broadwell. “It greatly decreases exam time and minimizes discomfort. The images are often read in real-time, during the patient’s mammogram.”

The role of contrast-enhanced mammography as an alternative to MRI for preoperative evaluation and guidance is growing, with studies reporting it’s as accurate as an MRI in  detecting early stage and potentially invasive cancers. With the radiologist present to read in real-time, this new approach decreases the time-to-treatment along with patient anxiety caused by waiting on unknown results.

“This new approach is just one of the benefits our partnership with the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute is bringing to physicians and their patients in this region,”  said Lee Higginbotham, LewisGale Hospital Alleghany chief executive officer

Early detection begins with a screening mammogram. Call 540-862-6789 to schedule.