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FDA Proposal For Women With Dense Breasts; Mercy is an Early Adopter

April 1st, 2019

The FDA proposed a rule to notify women with dense breasts about their increased cancer risk and shortcomings of mammography alone. The proposal will update mammography regulations for the first time in two decades. While these recommendations may seem new, they have been in place at Mercy Medical Center since 2013, in accordance with New York State legislation.

In early 2018, Mercy added VolparaDensityto its Breast Cancer Screening Program, which ensures that each patient receives an objective measure of breast density. Each patient’s density is reviewed in conjunction with their Breast Cancer Risk Assessment to create a customized screening program.

Mercy is currently the only hospital on Long Island to offer VolparaDensity™ and the only in NY to offer LumaGem® Molecular Breast Imaging — a supplementary screening modality for women with dense breast, significantly increasing early detection in women.  Unlike prior nuclear breast imaging technologies, LumaGem®’s newly configured detectors assist in the discovery of small breast cancers with minimal radiation exposure.

Dr. Conellia Ha, Mercy Medical Center’s director of radiology, welcomes this new federal recommendation. Together with her team at Mercy, Dr. Ha is an early adopter of recommendations and new modalities to assist in the detection of breast cancer.

“In anticipation of the changing landscape of breast imaging and recognizing the need for customized breast cancer screenings, the Department of Radiology at Mercy has been proactive in taking preemptive measures to stay ahead of the curve, utilizing groundbreaking solutions like VolparaDensityand state-of-the-art technology like the MBI. In keeping with Mercy’s commitment to providing the latest tools, we will shortly transition to the Tyrer-Cruzick 8 Risk Assessment Model, rather than the Gail Model, which incorporates breast density,” said Dr. Ha.

Tyrer-Cuzick estimates the likelihood of a woman developing breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, which is critical to helping assess prevention and planning.  

For more info, call 516-626-3729 or visit https://mercymedicalcenter.chsli.org/molecular-breast-imaging.

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