Northern Arizona Radiology announces cutting-edge breast imaging technology

Breast Specific Gamma Imaging complements digital mammography at region's only women's imaging center

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Northern Arizona Radiology (NAR), in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, announces its Breast Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI) technology in the fight against breast cancer.

"We are very excited about BSGI," said Jennifer J. Kottra, M.D., supervising radiologist for mammography at Northern Arizona Radiology. "Molecular breast imaging, including Breast Specific Gamma Imaging, is the new frontier in breast cancer detection, and we are proud to offer this cutting-edge technology to the community of northern Arizona."

"BSGI does not replace mammography," said Kottra. "Mammography remains the cornerstone of breast cancer detection. BSGI is used in conjunction with digital mammography, computer aided detection (CAD), breast ultrasound and breast MRI to further evaluate suspicious or difficult to interpret findings."

What is so revolutionary about molecular breast imaging technology such as BSGI, explained Kottra, is that it is able to detect the abnormal activity of cancer cells within the breast while they may still be undetectable or of uncertain significance on mammography. Because of this, BSGI has a very high sensitivity for detecting cancers in their early stages when they are the most treatable.

BSGI is performed by injecting a small amount of a radiopharmaceutical through an intravenous (IV) catheter and then imaging the breasts in a manner similar to mammography, although without the uncomfortable compression. Breast cancers are detected because they absorb more of the radiopharmaceutical than the surrounding normal tissues.

BSGI is particularly useful for difficult to interpret mammograms, including those with dense breast tissue, multiple abnormalities and/or changes related to prior surgery, but can also be useful for evaluation of lumps that cannot be detected on mammography or ultrasound.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, dedicated to saving lives by raising awareness of the importance of early detection of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammography for women 40 and older.

Northern Arizona Radiology is the only comprehensive women's imaging facility in northern Arizona. It offers state-of-the-art medical imaging in a comfortable, convenient location with same-day scheduling available for most exams. All exams are interpreted locally by experienced, board-certified radiologists who work closely with referring providers, ensuring the highest quality care at a fraction of the cost of hospital-based exams.

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