Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS)
Advanced screening for dense breasts.
Breast density – what does it mean?
All breasts are not the same. Some are fatty, some are dense and some are mixed. Breasts are made up of a mixture of fibrous, glandular and fatty tissue. Your breasts are considered dense if you have a lot of fibrous or glandular tissue, but not much fatty tissue. On a mammogram dense tissue looks white. Since masses or lumps also appear white on a mammogram, a suspicious lump may be masked by the dense breast tissue.
Dense breast tissue is also linked with an increase in the risk of developing breast cancer. Women with extremely dense tissue have four to six times greater risk of developing breast cancer than women who do not have dense breast tissue.¹ Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS) helps providers look differently at dense breast tissue.
Do you have dense breasts?
Breast density is determined by the radiologist who reads your mammogram and classifies the density into one of four categories. Your provider will tell you if you have dense breasts based on your mammogram's classification on the density scale.
PODCAST EPISODE: Breast Cancer Screening
Therese Michels, manager at St. Luke's Breast and Bone Health, joins Dr. Arnold to discuss mammogram recommendations, dense breast tissue, mammogram technologies, how the pandemic affected breast cancer screening and more.
Should I have an ABUS screening?
ABUS breast cancer screening is specifically developed to find cancers hidden in dense breast tissue, which may be missed by mammography.
If you have dense breast tissue, the addition of ABUS screening can increase the detection of cancers. ABUS screening, along with the option of a 3D screening mammogram, will help provide a clear evaluation of your dense breast tissue. It's the only breast cancer screening technology FDA-approved for detection in women with dense breast tissue.
The ABUS screening experience
From the moment you lie down on the exam table, you'll realize the ABUS screening is completely unlike a mammogram. A layer of lotion is applied to your breast, and then a scanner is firmly positioned on your breast to acquire the images. The exam takes approximately 30 minutes and provides clear 3D ultrasound images. The doctor will review the ABUS screening images along with your mammogram.
How the ABUS exam is different
ABUS screening uses sound waves to create 3D pictures of the breast tissue. ABUS is the only FDA-approved system for breast cancer screening when used in combination with mammography in women who have dense breast tissue and no prior interventions.
Ask your doctor if an ABUS screening would benefit you.
Call (319) 369-7216 to schedule an appointment.
Resources: densebreast-info.org or iowabreastdensity.com
The coverage of ABUS may vary by insurance carrier, as there may be an out-of-pocket expense. Check with your insurance to understand your benefits. The CPT code is 76641-50 (bilateral breast) or 76641 (unilateral breast), and diagnosis codes is R92.2. Please contact St. Luke's Breast and Bone Health for any additional questions.