November 11, 2022
Richmond, VA — HCA Virginia is the first healthcare system in Central Virginia to offer a new type of mammogram that can detect up to 2-3 times as many cancers as a regular mammogram. Using contrast dye that goes to areas of increased blood flow, cancers are illuminated because they have more abnormal blood vessels. This new mammogram is part of the high-risk breast clinic at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital’s Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute.
“Early detection is the best prevention, and with the use of this contrast enhanced mammography, we are able to save more lives from breast cancer,” said Dr. Ryan Gabriel, a radiologist and breast imaging specialist at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital. “Patients in the Richmond area and beyond have access to state-of-the-art technology and a higher level of care.”
Once a patient is identified as high-risk through factors such as family history, a variety of options like supplemental screenings are available to help detect the disease in its earliest stages. The team at the high-risk breast clinic, which includes medical oncologists, genetic counselors, and nurse navigators, collaborate and are there for patients throughout every step of their journey.
Each year, over 1 million people are diagnosed with cancer, and approximately 5-10% of those cancers are hereditary. However, only a small fraction of people with a hereditary predisposition to cancer learn that fact and get tested. The goal of HCA Virginia’s program is to identify patients at higher risk before a cancer develops and offer personalized screening and risk-reducing options. The contrast dye test is considered a diagnostic mammogram and can replace an annual screening mammogram.