Pink Up: Laurel hospital hunts elusive breast cancer with latest tech

Pink Up: Laurel hospital hunts elusive breast cancer with latest tech

LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - South Central Regional Medical Center has been using ABUS for several months now, and Dr. Keith Winstead tells us the results are very promising so far.

ABUS stands for Automated Breast Ultrasound System, and it can find cancer in dense breast tissue that would have gone undetected before this technology arrived.

"We're seeing cancers that were missed on mammogram that we're detecting solely because of ABUS," said Dr. Winstead, OB-GYN at South Central. "We're also seeing cancers detected [at] earlier stages, and we're seeing less biopsies done unnecessarily."

He said ABUS isn’t necessary for all women.

"Typically, mammography is still the gold standard. We do mammograms for screening for everyone. It's that subgroup of women with dense breasts that the ABUS becomes such a valuable tool."

That’s because dense breast tissue puts a woman at higher risk of breast cancer, and also makes finding that cancer far more difficult.

"The biggest thing is now there is an answer," Dr. Winstead said. "There is something that we can do. There was a lot of legislation that came through that made it a legal responsibility for radiology when they're reading the mammogram to say, you have dense breasts. The big question was always, what do you do with that information? ‘Well now I know that I'm at increased risk for cancer, and they can't detect it, so I put my head on the pillow at night and that's a real reassuring feeling.’ The answer now is, we have the ability, we have something additional that can screen for those cancers."

South Central was the first in the state to introduce ABUS.

“We’re actually getting some referrals in from outside facilities who have done their mammograms and are coming back, hey you have dense breasts, their physicians are sending them through my office or through radiology here at South Central for that ABUS technology.”

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