RENO — Renown Breast Health Center offers northern Nevada’s first and only whole breast screening ultrasound, SonoCine. The technology detects cancer hidden in dense breast tissue in standard mammogram images.
Lately, there has been some confusion surrounding mammography screening guidelines, according to a Renown press release sent Monday. The American Cancer Society and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists agree that women age 40 and older with average risk should be offered a yearly mammogram. Additional researchers state that other risk factors should be taken into account when making a mammogram decision, such as breast-tissue density, history of biopsy and family history of breast cancer.
According to Dr. Susan Ward, radiologist with Reno Radiological Associates at Renown Breast Health Center, the latest recommendation is good news because breast cancers found in younger patients usually grow faster than those found in older women and are often harder to detect due to increased breast tissue density.
When women are young, their breasts are made up of the specialized breast tissue that produces milk during breast feeding. This tissue is very thick, or dense. As women age, the breast tissue often changes. Fat replaces the dense milk-producing breast tissue. However, 30 percent of women over age 50 have dense breast tissue.
Women with very dense breast tissue have a six times greater risk of cancer. Studies also reveal that 60 to 100 percent more cancers are detected in women with dense breasts when SonoCine screening breast ultrasound is added to screening mammography.
Right now, in the state of Nevada, screening breast ultrasound is not covered by insurance. SonoCine is used as a supplement to a mammogram and costs $295. Through Oct. 31, Renown Health is offering a friends and family special price of $150. Friends and family members of Renown employees can provide the name of the employee they know upon scheduling their appointment to take advantage of a discounted, one-time rate.
To schedule a screening mammogram or SonoCine screening breast ultrasound, call 982-8100. For more information, visit renown.org/sonocine.