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Molecular Breast Imaging

Nga Nguyen, a technician in the department of nuclear medicine, uses molecular breast imaging as a screening tool to detect signs of breast cancer.Nga Nguyen, a technician in the department of nuclear medicine, uses molecular breast imaging as a screening tool to detect signs of breast cancer.

Fox Chase Cancer Center is now offering molecular breast imaging (MBI), a new diagnostic test for breast cancer. This technology improves early detection of breast cancer and, helps assess the extent of cancer in patients already diagnosed. MBI is not a recommended diagnostic tool for younger women of child-bearing age due to the low dose, full body exposure to radiation.

An Alternative to MRI

MBI is an alternative to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which may not be an option for those with claustrophobia, have metal in the body or have poor kidney function. As with MRI, MBI can be useful as a screening tool in detecting breast cancer that is difficult to detect using mammography alone. MBI provides clear images, even for those with dense breast tissue. For those with dense breast tissue, MBI’s technology can detect tumors that are not visible with mammography.

During the MBI Procedure

  • You will receive an injection of a low dose of a radiotracer, which will accumulate in malignant tissue.
  • A technologist will take pictures of your breast with a special gamma camera using standard mammogram positions. Each image takes approximately 10 minutes, with the entire procedure taking about 46 to 60 minutes.

MBI is safe for patients with breast implants and is cost-effective.

The new technology was purchased through the generous support of the Friends of Fox Chase and a charitable donation by the Flyer’s Fight For Lives organization.