Automated Breast Ultrasound
A Popular Breast Screening Option
Automated Breast Ultra-sound (ABUS) arrived in Canada in May of 2011, and was quickly embraced by both mainstream medical and holistic communities. Comfortable and thorough, ABUS is the latest technological breakthrough to hit the market in the fight against breast cancer. Now just 20 months later, ABUS is becoming a household word.
To meet growing demand by women taking charge of their own health and not satisfied with the Federal Guidelines and lack of ABUS in the public system, there are now 3 private ABUS clinics in the area (Toronto/Thornhill/Barrie), one in Vancouver and more on the way. A typical ABUS scan runs $350.00 including radiologist report.
Not only is ABUS screening pain-free, radiation-free and non-invasive, it delivers a high-resolution 3D image of the whole breast, where ultrasound previously showed only parts of the breast. ABUS is not a mammogram, and does not involve a painful compression of the breast or radiation. ABUS is not to be confused with thermography. (Health Canada recently issued an advisory against thermography for breast cancer screening) ABUS is ultrasound and is Health Canada and FDA approved for screening of dense breasts. It is increasingly the test of choice for women with dense breast tissue or post-operative or scar tissue, as well as those who avoid mammography screening due to personal reasons. ABUS provides a full-field breast scan that minimizes human error, which is a common problem with conventional ultrasound.
ABUS is also the safe & sound choice for younger women, many attending the clinics as young as late teens to start screening where there is concern or family history of breast cancer. As gentle as a pregnancy ultrasound, ABUS can be used safely and as often as required by virtually anyone.
ABUS also improves early detection for women with dense breasts by up to 95%. A growing body of research suggests a strong link between breast density and increased cancer risk. Women with dense breasts are up to six times more likely to contract cancer, according to one study (Boyd et al., New England Journal of Medicine, 2007; 356:227-36M).
Recently the manufacturer of ABUS, U-systems Inc. was acquired by GE Healthcare, further cementing ABUS’s place in the future of breast screening. It seems ABUS is here to stay. If you haven’t heard about it yet, you probably will from a friend who has been screened. Ask your doctor if ABUS is right for you.
Ward Sullian is CEO of Breast Imaging Canada Inc., and can be reached at email@example.com