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HCA Virginia’s new mammography technology detects cancer early

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Citizen staff

HCA Virginia is the first health system in Central Virginia to offer a new type of mammogram capable of detecting up to two to three times more cancers than a conventional mammogram.

By using a 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 the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital.

Once a patient is identified as high risk, by family history and other factors, a variety of options such as additional screenings are available to help detect the disease in its early stages. The High Risk Breast Clinic team, which includes medical oncologists, genetic counselors and nurse navigators, supports patients throughout the journey.

Each year, more than one million people are diagnosed with cancer, and approximately 5-10% of these cancers are hereditary. However, only a small fraction of people with an inherited predisposition to cancer learn of this fact and get tested. The goal of HCA Virginia’s program is to identify high-risk patients before cancer develops and provide personalized screening and risk reduction options.

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