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Molecular Breast Imaging


Today’s Mercy delivers the most advanced imaging and minimally invasive diagnostic techniques. Mercy is the first in New York state to offer Molecular Breast Imaging Technology (MBI). MBI is a proven, effective supplementary screening method to mammography, significantly increasing early detection in women who are at a higher risk due to dense breast tissue.

What is Molecular Breast Imaging?

MBI is a technology that is indicated for use as a secondary or diagnostic imaging tool used in addition to a mammogram. It provides a detailed image of what is happening inside the breast at the molecular and cellular level. LumaGEM® MBI has been proven to detect breast cancers as small as 5 mm, and in 82% of cases the patient is still node negative , indicating that the cancer has been found during an early stage of the disease. Finding breast cancer early, prior to lymph node involvement, has the potential for better clinical outcomes as there may be more treatment options.

To administer MBI exams, patients receive an injection of a very small dose of a drug called tc-99m Sestamibi, a commonly used short acting radiopharmaceutical. The dose used for a MBI exam is very low, and is similar to what is received simply by flying from the east coast to the west coast. Immediately following the injection, patients can be imaged with LumaGEM MBI, a special scanner that looks and operates similarly to standard mammography device. The radiopharmaceutical accumulates more in the cancerous lesions compared to normal tissue. This is captured on the MBI image, showing clear differentiation between tumors and surrounding tissue which improves the accuracy of detecting early stage cancers. Additionally, MBI is a tool that can be used to determine if chemotherapy is effective, as a pre-surgical planning tool, and/or after a lumpectomy has been completed to confirm disease has been surgically removed in patients already diagnosed with breast cancer.

For more information, call 516-62-MERCY or 516-626-3729.