For the first time, women who have dense breasts — almost half of all women — have access to a reliable test that detects cancer early. The test is molecular breast imaging, or MBI.
MBI detects nearly four times as many tumors
Cancer can hide in dense tissue. MBI finds tumors based on molecular activity and shows them as bright spots on the image.
Some women already know their tissue is dense. Others suspect it because they frequently are called back for more imaging or a biopsy.
In the La Crosse area, MBI is available exclusively at Mayo Clinic Health System.
How Mayo Clinic developed this breakthrough technology
Debra Rhodes, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic Breast Clinic, realized she could solve the dense tissue problem after talking with a cardiologist about using multiplexed ion beam imaging, or MIBI, technology.
Her small team built the first MBI, duct taping individual high-resolution detectors to a modified mammography unit. Over the next 10 years, radiology, internal medicine, surgery, nuclear physics and biomedical engineering teams perfected and validated it with rigorous clinical research.
Health care professionals now can match diagnostic tests to women's individual needs and save more lives.