Moffitt Cancer Center First in the Southeast to Offer Mammograms with Low Radiation Dose

February 28, 2012

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 28, 2012) Moffitt Cancer Center is the first academic center in the United States and the only site in the Southeast to offer MicroDose, a new mammography technology that identifies cancer with half the radiation dose of a regular mammogram. Eileen Curd is among the first patients to experience the new technology at Moffitt’s outpatient facility near International Plaza .

“I was so thrilled to know that I was getting less radiation with MicroDose,” said Curd, of Sarasota. “It seemed faster, and my images were read by a radiologist at Moffitt.”

One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, and the American Cancer Society recommends that women begin mammography screenings at 40. MicroDose offers an alternative with a higher image resolution that shows greater detail while significantly reducing the radiation dose, which is up to six times less than tomosynthesis, and less than other full field digital mammography systems.

Dr. Chris Flowers, director of Breast Imaging and Research at Moffitt, says MicroDose is ideal for younger women with a family history of breast cancer who are considered high risk, as well as for women with denser breasts who worry about radiation exposure.

“I feel even more confident in my diagnosis because the images with MicroDose are crystal clear,” Flowers said. “It is cutting-edge technology that has proven itself in Europe, and I feel great about offering my patients the lowest possible radiation dose without having to sacrifice image quality.”

This technology has been used throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan for about seven years, and has now been made available to women in the United States. Breast tissue images using MicroDose are delivered at a 50 micron pixel size, which is two times higher resolution than that of some other full field digital mammography systems. This helps doctors better evaluate potential areas of concern, including barely visible changes in breast tissue.

Curd is recommending MicroDose to her friends every chance she gets.

“Anything that can provide earlier detection with less radiation is good,” she said. “I would think that it would entice women who need to get mammograms at an earlier age.”

MicroDose is available at Moffitt Cancer Center at International Plaza, 4101 Jim Walter Blvd. To schedule a screening mammogram appointment, call (813) 745-1600. For questions, call Cancer Answers at 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488).

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Located in Tampa, Moffitt Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, which recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is also a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer.