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New method detects more breast cancers

A new breast imaging technique has been found by a Royal Perth Hospital study and uses dye with traditional breast X-rays could detect more cancers, benefiting women with dense breast tissue who risk having their tumours missed.

The technique – called contrast enhanced spectral mammography – injects patients with an iodine-based dye before the imaging to produce a standard mammogram and images showing areas of abnormal iodine uptake.

This gives the radiologist high-resolution structural information as well as details about areas that have high levels of abnormal blood vessels, which often occurs in breast cancers.

The study showed the technique has fewer false negatives than MRIs, and reduced the need for biopsies.

With standard mammograms, some cancers in women with dense breasts can be hidden in the surrounding normal tissue. But with the new technique cancers are displayed as white areas against a grey background of normal tissue.

Read more about the study’s findings on The West Australian news website.