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digital mammography

Contrast-Enhanced Mammography (CEM): The Future of Breast Imaging in Toronto and Beyond

Toronto, with its bustling urban centres and thriving medical community, is at the forefront of numerous medical advancements. Valence Medical Imaging, catering to residents of Toronto, Brampton, Whitby, and Niagara Falls, is keeping pace with the latest in breast imaging techniques. One such notable innovation is Contrast-Enhanced Mammography (CEM).


What is Contrast-Enhanced Mammography?


Contrast-Enhanced Mammography is a relatively new breast imaging procedure that employs both digital mammogram technology and a contrast agent to provide clearer and more detailed images of breast tissue.


Why CEM is a Game-Changer in Breast Cancer Screening


1. Dense Breasts: Women with dense breasts often pose a challenge in breast cancer screening. The denser tissues can sometimes mask tumors on conventional mammograms. CEM improves visibility in these cases by highlighting the cancerous regions that take up the contrast agent.


2. Improved Detection: With the help of the contrast agent, cancerous lesions stand out more prominently, leading to early and improved detection.


3. BI-RADS Classification: This classification system, used by radiologists to categorize breast imaging findings, becomes more accurate with CEM. The detailed images allow for better differentiation between benign and malignant tumors.


4. Alternatives to Biopsy: In many cases, especially when a diagnostic mammogram isn’t clear, a breast biopsy is the next step. However, with CEM, some women might be spared this invasive procedure, as the imagery can provide enough detail to ascertain the nature of the lesion.


How Does CEM Compare to Other Breast Imaging Techniques?


  • Digital Mammogram: While a digital mammogram provides two-dimensional images of the breast, CEM offers enhanced images that show the vascular distribution in tumors, giving radiologists more information.
  • Breast Tomosynthesis: Also known as 3D mammography, breast tomosynthesis captures multiple images of the breast from different angles. CEM, when combined with tomosynthesis, can offer comprehensive views and even more accurate results.
  • Breast Ultrasound: This is often used in conjunction with mammography, especially for women with dense breasts. While ultrasound provides real-time images using sound waves, CEM provides a detailed vascular perspective which can be pivotal in tumor detection.


Concerns Addressed: Radiation Exposure


It’s natural to be concerned about radiation exposure during mammography. With CEM, while there is exposure, it is within the safe and accepted limits set by health agencies. Furthermore, the potential benefits of early and accurate breast cancer detection outweigh the minimal risks associated with the procedure.


With its ability to provide clearer, detailed images, especially in challenging cases like dense breasts, Contrast-Enhanced Mammography is a monumental step forward in the field of breast imaging. At Valence Medical Imaging in Toronto, the dedicated team is committed to offering top-notch breast imaging services, ensuring residents of Toronto, Brampton, Whitby, and Niagara Falls receive the best care possible.


Whether you’re due for your regular breast cancer screening or seeking advanced imaging techniques like CEM, understanding your options is crucial. With technology continuously advancing, ensuring you’re getting the best and most accurate screening possible is paramount in the fight against breast cancer.

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