The Gamma Camera Is A Key In The Fight Against Breast Cancer
Recently there has been an uproar about the new recommendations made by a group concerning the guidelines for breast cancer screening
. The new recommendations pushed back the recommended age at which women should begin getting regular mammograms and doing self examinations to 50 instead of 40. Their reasoning was that these things before fifty did very little good. This caused a lot of breast cancer survivors who contracted breast cancer before the age of fifty to speak up. They took it very personal, stating that they would have died had that been the recommendation for them. Some even found breast cancer while in their thirties.
A successful fight against breast cancer is all about early detection. With early detection the survival rate is very high. Without that early detection, the rates of survival is a lot lower. One tool that has really helped in that fight by detecting tumors in the breast at a lot earlier stage is the gamma camera. The gamma camera was invented by a man who was a well known nuclear scientist. He invented the camera using his knowledge in the nuclear science field.
One of the reasons that this method of breast examination has become so popular, besides the fact that it can detect tumors in the breast much sooner, is the fact that it is much more comfortable for the women receiving the examination. The traditional mammogram machine needs to squish the breast between to camera plates in order to get a decent picture through the dense breast tissue. This process is very uncomfortable for women. With the gamma camera the picture is taken much more like an xray machine, which puts the patient in no discomfort.
In addition to the comfort issue and the fact that it has a much stronger ability to get good pictures and detect the cancer much sooner, it is also a small enough machine that it can be done in the doctor's office. This makes it a lot more convenient as well as less costly.
In the past, there was a machine called an MRI machine that could pick up the cancer even sooner than the gamma camera. However, most did not use that and doctors hesitated to use it because it required a trip to the hospital as well as cost a lot more to have done. This was usually only used for breast examination purposes if the patient was at a high risk for breast cancer.
by: Art Gib
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