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New ultrasound device may help detect breast cancer sooner

by , 05 September 2017
New ultrasound device may help detect breast cancer sooner
A brand new research project at the University of Southern California (USC) Comprehensive Cancer Center is actively recruiting women with dense breast tissue to examine the effectiveness of a SoftVue, a novel ultrasound device.

SoftVue is the very first 3-D, whole-breast system that might better assist doctors in distinguishing normal breast tissue from cancers, as well as detect breast cancer sooner. Read on for the full scoop…

Breast cancer is much more difficult to detect in women with dense breasts…

Mary Yamashita, the project’s national principal investigator and assistant professor of clinical radiology, said that while mammography is the best screening tool for women, scientists and doctors alike have known for years that detecting breast cancer is much more difficult in women with dense breasts than in women with normal breasts.
 
“Our hope is that this technology will enable us to detect cancers much sooner in women with dense breast tissue so that we can provide better outcomes for those with cancer and peace of mind for those with a negative study,” Yamashita added.

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Prior studies have determined that ultrasound can detect cancers not seen on mammography

Yamashita and her team noted that past research has determined that in dense breasts, ultrasound can detect cancers not seen on mammography. The only downsides to traditional handheld ultrasound exams is that they can be time-consuming and are often operator-dependent. These devices also have a high rate of false positivists, resulting in unnecessary biopsies.
 
The team said that SoftVue is a faster, more automated and much gentler system in which a 360-degree ring transducer images the entire breast in a single pass, moving from the front of the breast to the wall of the chest. SoftVue also doesn’t compress the breasts or expose them to radiation, which makes it a safe alternative for detecting breast cancer.

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