Dr. Jose Net is a breast imager at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth, University of Miami Health System. To learn more about contrast-enhanced mammography or to make an appointment, call 305-243-1000 or visit the University of Miami’s health news blog.
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of just a few cancer centers in South Florida offering a new technology in breast cancer detection called contrast-enhanced mammography (CEM).
Performed just like a traditional mammography, but with the addition of intravenous iodine administered at the appointment, contrast-enhanced mammograms provide more precise images with fewer false positives when compared to standard mammograms, says Sylvester breast imager Dr. Jose Net.
“When the blood vessels are developing in a tumor, they're not like normal organized vessels. They are leaky and that allows the contrast to pool and highlight the areas of abnormality,” explains Dr. Net. “The difference is, when I see something that is abnormal, I'm more confident it ultimately will yield a true positive result.”
Contrast-enhanced mammograms use the same equipment as a traditional mammograms, but with upgraded hardware. The resulting images are clearer and easier to read for physicians, which makes it easier to detect cancer or to rule it out.
“It’s relatively inexpensive, it's very quick, it’s accurate, and the results are almost instantaneous,” says Dr. Net. “It’s really wonderful to have confidence in what you read and what you're reviewing, giving our patients a more precise diagnosis.”
The best candidates for CEM are women with intermediate risk of breast cancer. This includes women with:
- Personal history of breast cancer
- Family history of breast cancer
- Prior high-risk lesion at biopsy
- Dense breast tissue
CEM is also a great alternative to an MRI for women who required advanced screening but are claustrophobic, have metallic implantable devices which are not MRI safe, or are allergic to gadolinium. CEM also yields fewer biopsies than MRI in the same population of women.
Dr. Net says patients who are interested in contrast mammography should consult with their physician to determine if they are a candidate.
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