Breast Specific Gamma Imaging(BSGI)
Breast Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI), also known as molecular breast imaging, is comparable to MRI in finding early cancers. However, BSGI has fewer false positives, and costs nearly one-third the price of an MRI. BSGI is recommended for women who have dense breast tissue are in the high risk category and who find MRI uncomfortably claustrophobic.
WDI is using a Dilon 6800 high-resolution camera, which creates clear pictures of cancers as small as three millimeters. The camera can detect early stage cancers; identify lesions, even in dense breast tissue; and is designed to provide multiple angle views. It can also give us images of the axilla (armpit) to help identify abnormal lymph nodes.
Patients are given an injection of a tracing agent (MUCH LOWER THAN the injection cardiac patients get for a stress test), which is absorbed by all the cells in the body, but in greater amounts by abnormal cells. Malignant masses show up as “hot spots,” or dark areas on the images, making molecular screening far more reliable for differentiating cancerous from non-cancerous cells. Unlike mammography and ultrasound, which create images of the physical structure of the breast, BSGI produces an image of the cellular functioning of the breast tissue.
Studies have consistently given similar high marks to both BSGI and MRI (about ninety percent accuracy) in finding early cancers. However, BSGI is superior for determining that cancer is NOT present. A recent study found that BSGI reduced the number of inconclusive findings by 50 percent, eliminating the need for biopsies. BSGI was 3 times more effective than MRI in finding invasive lobular carcinoma, a hard to detect form of cancer affecting about twenty percent of breast cancer patients.