Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Piedmont Fayette Hospital offers New Breast MRI Services

Piedmont Fayette Hospital is proud to offer breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services utilizing the Invivo Breast Coil and the Siemens Magnetom Espree MRI scanner. The Magnetom Espree’s extra-large opening means it can comfortably accommodate patients of all sizes and is perfect for those who get anxious or claustrophobic during an MRI or anyone who just likes more space. This enhanced technology means Fayette community members now have access to diagnostic MRI services for breast cancer in addition to regular screening and diagnostic mammograms, and breast ultrasound scanning.

Breast MRI — is an imaging technique that captures multiple cross-sectional pictures of the breast. Breast MRI involves combining the images and using a computer to generate detailed 2-D and 3-D pictures. A breast MRI isn't used routinely for breast cancer screening, but can be performed when your doctor needs more information than a mammogram, ultrasound or clinical breast exam can provide.

“Breast MRI’s should not be considered as a replacement procedure for mammograms,” said Debora Coursey-Prah, M.D., of Piedmont Fayette Hospital’s Women’s Imaging Center and board-certified radiologist. “Mammography is still a very important component of early detection, but the availability of breast MRI’s will allow us to better treat and diagnose patients so they continue to receive the best quality care possible.”

The breast MRI procedure is relatively simple and painless. It is performed through the use of a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to process the scan information. The images created provide a comprehensive picture of the entire breast, chest wall, and surrounding tissues.

“This is a sophisticated diagnostic procedure, administered by our staff of highly-trained and experienced radiologists and technologists, using state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging equipment,” said Darrell Cutts, president and CEO Piedmont Fayette Hospital. “We are committed to providing access to the best technology we can in order to find breast cancer early and, in turn, treat it successfully.”

The American Cancer Society recommends annual MRI’s for women at high risk due to strong family history, a genetic predisposition or other reasons. As many as 1.6 million women in the U.S. fall into this high-risk category. The guidelines stress that the exams should be done in addition to annual mammograms as well as regular physical exams in the hope of driving down the death toll from the common and widely feared malignancy.

A breast MRI may be recommended if:

You've been diagnosed with breast cancer and your doctor wishes to determine the extent of the cancer.
Your doctor finds a suspicious area on your mammogram.
You or your doctor can feel a mass or other lump in your breast, but it's not detectable on mammogram or ultrasound.
You notice a breast lump or other breast change after surgery or radiation therapy and it's not detectable on mammogram or ultrasound.
Your doctor wants to monitor your opposite breast after you've been newly diagnosed or treated for breast cancer in the other breast.
You have a suspected leak or rupture of a breast implant.
You're at high risk of breast cancer, defined as a lifetime risk of 20 percent to 25 percent or greater.
You have a strong family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer.
You have very dense breast tissue and your prior breast cancer wasn't detected on mammogram.

Conversation with your physician is the best place to start. For more information on the PFH Women’s Imaging Center and breast cancer services, please call 770-719-6629 or visit http://www.fayettehospital.org/.
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