Good Samaritan Now Offering FDA-Approved Automated Breast Ultrasound System for Screening Women with Dense Breast Tissue

During Tuesday’s Board of Governors meeting, Good Samaritan announced that they are on the leading edge of breast care by now offering the Invenia™ ABUS (Automated Breast Ultrasound System), approved by the FDA for breast cancer screening as an adjunct to mammography for asymptomatic women with dense breast tissue and no prior interventions.

“We are excited to add the Automated Breast Ultrasound from GE Healthcare to our comprehensive breast cancer screening program,” said Crystal Beadles, Good Samaritan Mammography Manager. “By offering ABUS in addition to mammography for our patients with dense breast tissue, we can improve the detection of small cancers that cannot be seen on a mammogram alone in these women.”

Dense breast tissue not only increases the risk of breast cancer up to 4 to 6 times but also makes cancer more difficult to detect using mammography. One study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed mammography sensitivity is reduced 36 to 38 percent in women with dense breasts, as density masks the appearance of tumors. As breast density goes up, the accuracy of mammograms goes down.

As a result, several states, including Indiana, have passed laws mandating that women be notified if their breasts are dense, and may offer supplemental imaging as appropriate.

“The new Automated Breast Ultrasound is going to be a great addition to the Breast Care Center,” said Dr. Lindsey Fleshman, General and Breast Surgeon at Good Samaritan. “It will allow our patients with dense breast tissue another screening tool to help detect cancers that mammography misses, supporting early detection and better patient outcomes.”

Mammography is an effective tool for the detection of breast cancer; however, it doesn’t work equally well in all women, particularly those with dense breast tissue. Designed and built specifically for screening, research shows that ABUS technology as an adjunct to mammography has the potential to find 35.7 percent additional cancers that would not have been found with mammography alone.

The total cost of the ABUS system will be $177,355 and will include the ABUS machine, workstation, physician education and technician training. Good Samaritan Foundation donated $15,000 from two Cancer Program Funds that allowed the price of the system to decrease from the original price of $192,335.

Dr. Fleshman recommends that women get regular mammograms as suggested by their doctor, and if they have been informed that they have dense breast tissue, they should talk to their doctor about their specific risk and additional screening tests that might be appropriate.

The Board of Governors also approved the purchase of new equipment for the Endoscopy Department. The purchase of a wide-channel bronchoscope, an endoscopic ultrasound processor, and the pulmonary / gastrointestinal ultrasound scopes will allow the department to continue to provide state-of-the-art care to their patients.

“The bronchoscope, ultrasound system and scopes will replace items that are no longer supported by our current vendor,” said Matt Schuckman, Vice President of Operations. “New equipment with updated technology is essential as Good Samaritan continues to recruit for a new gastroenterologist and welcomes the return of Dr. Johnathan Grant, Pulmonologist.”

The new equipment will be purchased from Olympus for a total of $406,791.58 that was budgeted for 2018 capital purchases.

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