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Illustration by Elly Maddock

New Cancer Tests That Could Save Your Life

Two little-known screening options—one specific to breast cancer—have the potential to help catch the disease much sooner than current norms. This, in turn, could have a massively positive impact on our treatment options, survival rates, and long-term health. While there is so much still unknown about cancer, it’s clear that outcomes shift dramatically when a cancer diagnosis comes early enough that the cancer is still localized, as opposed to later stages when it has metastasized. For example, the five-year relative survival rate of breast cancer is estimated to be near 100 percent for localized cases. This plummets to below 30 percent for metastasized breast cancer. So, how can we all be more proactive?

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The Important Breast Cancer Screening Weapon You May Not Know About

Elizabeth Varnell eloquently writes about how Ultrasound is underused especially for early breast cancer diagnosis. Most doctors and patients are not aware that for 15 years, Automated Whole-Breast Ultrasound has been available. This comprehensive non-toxic screening is accessible for all women of every age, shape, size, breast implants no breast implants, dense breast tissue or fatty breast tissue. Please read and share the article with every woman you love!

Thank you, Vogue for getting the word out and thank you Elizabeth Varnell for pushing for this article.

by Elizabeth Varnell, October 10th, 2017 8:23 AM

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New Non-Toxic Screening Options!

Breast cancer is the number one killer of women between the ages of 35-54, according to the National Cancer Institute. Yet, doctors are not finding the majority of breast tumors until they have already reached between twelve and seventeen millimeters with conventional testing methods. Why? All means of testing are not the same — nor are patients. Variables can include the patient’s age, breast size or shape (“one-size” testing does not fit all), breast density (translation: reflectiveness in a mammogram), previous breast surgery, implants, family history of cancer, and overall patient compliance.

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Embeth Davidtz-Sloane Educates 75 of Her A-List Friends on Breast Cancer Research

Dr. Barbara Hayden speaks for Embeth's friends at her home on Thursday night. Topic: Early Detection of Breast Cancer and all of the new fantastic technologies available to give her patients a fighting chance. Dr. Hayden, well-respected Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is known for her talents, skills, and passion for caring for her patients is dedicating her life to bring non-toxic, efficient screening technologies to women. Offering her patients, Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound (A.W.B.U.S) and ISET by Rarecells blood test for early detection for Circulating Cancer Cells. Discovering cancer long before it can migrate to other parts of the body and metastasize is her great mission.

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Worried about Dense Breasts?

Little-Known Screening Test May Catch Cancers Earlier
By Stephanie O’Neill, Special to Lifescript Published October 11, 2016

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Barbara B. Hayden, MD on KPPC September 16, 2016!

"Detecting more cancer in 'dense breats' with automated ultrasound screenings."
by Stephanie O'Neill

On a Mission

Inside one doctor's efforts to move past conventional mammogram screening

Dr. Barbara Hayden is passionate about many things, but none more so than making sure women get proper breast cancer screenings.

In practice since 1990, plastic and reconstructive surgeon Hayden recently opened the Sound Breast Institute in Santa Monica because she was increasingly concerned that women were making excuses for not getting mammograms—“they have a family history and don’t want to hear bad news,” says Hayden, “or they’re afraid of radiation or have tender breasts and simply found a mammogram too painful.”

Hayden was frustrated with the limitations of conventional mammograms. “They’re really not effective with women with implants or dense breasts,” Hayden says.

Statistics show mammography misses about 50 percent of all breast cancers in women with dense breast tissue (and cancer is 4-6 times more likely to be missed in women with extremely dense breasts than in women with fatty breasts). Mammography alone is not sufficient screening for early detection in these women.

California law mandates women be informed of the mammographic finding of dense breasts. Unfortunately, women rarely see the mammogram report and only receive a note saying the mammogram is clear. Even when they are told they have dense breasts, they do not fully understand what that means.

And there was a more pressing personal reason to find a better way. Hayden’s mother had breast cancer, and she’s a 16-year survivor, and her daughters are in the high-risk category. She knew the risks of mammograms—irradiating young breast tissue could even increase a cancer risk—and knew there had to be "an adjunct procedure that ensures patients receive complete coverage in the detection of breast cancer. Handheld ultrasound is not reproducible year to year and can easily miss early tumors.”

On a mission thumbnailHer research led her to Dr. Kevin Kelly, developer of the SonoCiné Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound (AWBUS). His approach and technology filled the void she was looking for, and she now offers these screenings in her office.

The ultrasound data is read by Kelly and reports are mailed to patients. Hayden is hoping more physicians will offer this solution. In women with dense breasts, ultrasound is superior to mammography and is more likely to find small invasive node-negative cancers. In women with implants, SonoCiné allows evaluation of tissue obscured by the implant or unable to be captured by mammography.

For the scan:

  • A computerized arm directs the technician’s speed and areas of capture to assure a complete exam. This allows the radiologist to detect tiny tumors ranging from 3-5 mm.
  • Clinical studies indicate a higher detection rate of tumors when AWBUS is paired with screening mammography. And the smaller tumors are the most curable.
  • AWBUS is a comprehensive, systematic ultrasound of all breast tissue from the midline to the back including the axilla (armpit), lower lymph nodes, outer breast tissue, inner breast tissue and under the collar bone.
  • With handheld ultrasound, the technician directs the wand over the breast. The accuracy of the procedure depends in part on the technique used and the experience and skill of the technician. With AWBUS the computerized arm and ability to capture and even overlap images of breast ensures a better capture of data.

Cleared by the FDA as an additional examination in conjunction with a mammogram, the AWBUS is harmless, painless without compression, free of radiation and injection and can be repeated as needed. “You could safely have one every day,” says Hayden.