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Breast Care Centre Opens In Auckland

3 JULY 2008

$7 Million State Of The Art Breast Care Centre Opens In Auckland

New Clinic At The Forefront Of Breast Care In New Zealand With $7 Million Investment In The Latest Generation Of Diagnostic Technology

What was once the most difficult part of breast cancer diagnosis, involving significant guesswork, has now become an exact science thanks to the acquisition of the only MRI guided breast biopsy system in New Zealand by Ascot Radiology.

The system is part of a suite of the latest generation of diagnostic technology and tools providing top of the line breast imaging at Ascot Radiology in Auckland’s newest breast care centre, opened by Ascot Radiology and leading breast care specialists, Breast Associates.

As well as housing the only MRI guided breast biopsy system, the centre is also home to the latest in digital mammography, 3D ultrasound and one of the world’s most advanced 3T MRIs supported by leading edge computer aided diagnostic technology.

Early diagnosis of breast cancer is key to improving the chances of successful treatment and recovery for the 2,000 plus women in New Zealand who are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. Now the latest generation of diagnostic tools is helping to improve the ability of specialists to detect and treat breast cancer earlier and more effectively.

Auckland breast cancer survivor, Robin xxxxx, will be one of the first patients to take advantage of the new breast imaging on offer at Ascot Radiology with a digital mammogram and Breast MRI as part of her annual check up programme, following a partial mastectomy in September 2004.

“The new technology at Ascot Radiology can only be a positive for all women requiring breast imaging. Anything that helps to improve the quality of diagnosis and enables earlier and better detection of possible breast cancer must be a winner for women in New Zealand”.

Robin was first diagnosed with breast cancer at a routine mammogram in August 2004. The diagnosis came as a shock as nobody, not even the experts, had felt a bump. The discovery led to a partial mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy followed by five years of daily medication.

“Thank heavens for mammograms and the routine screening programme. I am a fervent advocate of regular mammograms for all women over the age of 40”, said Robin.

Managing partner and principal radiologist at Ascot Radiology, Dr David Rogers, said: “Ascot is one of the first clinics in New Zealand to offer both full field digital mammography and 3T MRI, and is the only clinic in the country providing MRI guided breast biopsy. This technology is at the forefront of breast care.”

The investment of more than $7 million by Ascot Radiology is part of their commitment to providing the best possible diagnostic care for their clients.
Breast Surgeon, Dr Belinda Scott from Breast Associates, believes the seamless combination of Ascot Radiology’s latest generation diagnostic tools along with the specialist medical care provided by Breast Associates is a key ingredient when working in the breast care sector.

“For many women, visiting a breast care specialist can be a stressful time. By providing the best possible care and treatment with easy access to Ascot’s state of the art imaging technology, we are helping make the process as comfortable and streamlined as possible.

“If needed, we can meet with a patient and, if needed, then do a mammogram, breast MRI, ultrasound and biopsy on a patient all on the same day.”
Overleaf is further detailed information on the latest generation of computer enabled diagnostic tools for breast imaging available at Ascot Radiology.


Digital Mammography

Detection of breast cancer usually starts with a referral to a breast specialist such as Breast Associates and then follows a three step approach of clinical examination, imaging (mammography, ultrasound and MRI) and biopsy.
The mammogram is the first line of defence and digital mammography is now providing a higher quality, more effective tool in detecting breast cancer.

“A traditional film mammogram is far from a perfect test and many women need extra investigations such as ultrasound and even potentially unnecessary biopsies to ensure nothing has been missed,” said Dr Rogers.

“Digital mammography is changing the way we detect and fight cancer. Just like a digital camera, digital mammography provides higher resolution, better images and the ability to manipulate the pictures to get the best possible image and contrast possible.

“We can now view the image instantaneously, check for positioning and manipulate it to get the best view. Not only can digital mammography identify some tumours that are not visible on normal film mammography, it provides efficiency gains such as electronic archiving and enhances the ability to easily email images and seek second opinions, even from specialists on the other side of the world.”

MRI Breast Scanning

When a lesion is detected, MRI is often recommended as a second test. Magnetic Resonance Imaging has been around for about two decades but has only become a recognised tool for breast cancer diagnosis in recent years.

The latest generation of MRI uses a stronger 3T (3 Tesla) magnet which results in better images which are more detailed and higher in resolution, with about 1700 images created in half an hour.

Dr Rogers said: “MRI is effective in determining the extent of the cancer. That’s because tumours cause increased blood flow as they grow and MRI scanners can measure areas with particularly high blood flow.

“MRI is one of the most sensitive methods for detecting breast cancer and often finds disease that cannot be found be conventional imaging methods. At Ascot Radiology, we use breast MRI in conjunction with digital mammography and ultrasound. Each of these provides a different way of looking at the breast and is complementary to the others, providing us with the best possible information.”

Computer Aided Diagnostic Workstation

The final link in the state of the art imaging clinic is the DynaCAD digital imaging workstation which provides a comprehensive set of computer aided diagnosis (CAD) tools for performing real time image viewing analysis tools.
MRI Breast Biopsy System

If at any stage, a biopsy is needed it can be done quickly and easily using the only MRI Breast Biopsy System in New Zealand. Previously one of the most difficult and intrusive steps in the diagnostic process, the new MRI guided breast biopsy system uses computer software specifically designed for breast imaging to accurately pinpoint the location of a lesion and guide the biopsy directly to it, eliminating guess work.


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