Southwest Xray is proud to offer the women in the El Paso Community additional breast cancer testing for women with dense breasts. Mammography is considered the standard breast cancer diagnosis test, however if you are part of the 40% of women with dense breast tissue: an Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) may the better choice for you to detect breast cancer. When women have a lot of dense breast tissue, tumors become hard to spot on mammograms. On mammograms, fatty breast tissue looks dark, but dense tissue is light, like tumors, so it can hide any cancerous areas that may be present.

MBI uses a radioactive tracer that “lights up” any areas of cancer inside the breast. This tracer is injected into the body through a vein in the arm. Breast cancer cells tend to take up the radioactive substance much more than normal cells do. A special camera called a nuclear medicine scanner then scans the breast, looking for any areas where the radioactive substance is concentrated.

In a study, published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, Mayo Clinic researchers evaluated the performance of molecular breast imaging in 1,442 women with dense breast tissue and no physical signs of a medical issue. Currently, many physicians advise additional imaging for women with dense breasts—usually an ultrasound or MRI—in order to avoid missing hidden cancer cells, especially since women with dense breasts are also at a greater the risk of developing breast cancer.

If you are at average risk for breast cancer and do not have dense breasts, mammography remains the screening test of choice for you. Many doctors believe that, for most women, mammography is better than MBI at detecting breast tumors when they are small and generally easier to treat. 

Learn more about a MBI 

To book an appointment for an Mammography or MBI, click here