New breast test available in Sheffield - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

New breast test available in Sheffield

Posted: Updated:
Molecular imaging is under the umbrella of nuclear medicine, according to Radiology Technologist Cheryl McGhee. Molecular imaging is under the umbrella of nuclear medicine, according to Radiology Technologist Cheryl McGhee.
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Two men beat and rob a Huntsville man, police say

    Two men beat and rob a Huntsville man, police say

    Saturday, August 23 2014 7:36 AM EDT2014-08-23 11:36:29 GMT
    A Huntsville man was beat and robbed Friday. (Source: MGNOnline)A Huntsville man was beat and robbed Friday. (Source: MGNOnline)
    Huntsville Police Department say two men beat down and robbed a man Friday night at approximately 9:45 p.m.More >>
    Huntsville Police Department say two men beat down and robbed a man Friday night at approximately 9:45 p.m.More >>
  • Franklin County woman dies in fatal car crash

    Franklin County woman dies in fatal car crash

    Saturday, August 23 2014 7:25 AM EDT2014-08-23 11:25:28 GMT
    A Franklin County woman died in a one vehicle crash Friday. (Source: MGNOnline)A Franklin County woman died in a one vehicle crash Friday. (Source: MGNOnline)
    State Police investigators say that an elderly woman was killed in a one vehicle car crash Friday just before noon.More >>
    State Police investigators say that an elderly woman was killed in a one vehicle car crash Friday just before noon.More >>
  • Hardee's in Huntsville gets robbed at gunpoint

    Hardee's in Huntsville gets robbed at gunpoint

    Saturday, August 23 2014 7:07 AM EDT2014-08-23 11:07:28 GMT
    Police say a Hardee's in Huntsville was robbed at gunpoint. (Source: WAFF)Police say a Hardee's in Huntsville was robbed at gunpoint. (Source: WAFF)
    Huntsville Police responded to Hardee's on the 300 block of Andrew Jackson Way Friday at approximately 10:50 p.m.More >>
    Huntsville Police responded to Hardee's on the 300 block of Andrew Jackson Way Friday at approximately 10:50 p.m.More >>
SHEFFIELD, AL (WAFF) -

Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield is the first facility in the southeast to offer molecular breast imaging using the GE Healthcare's Discovery NM 750b.

Molecular imaging is under the umbrella of nuclear medicine, according to Radiology Technologist Cheryl McGhee.

"Nuclear medicine studies are designed so you're injected with a small amount of radio isotope. It's designated to go to a certain, specific, target area in the body; this is designed for the breast," she said.

She said the isotope pinpoints and highlights the diseased tissue, and the new tool shows that diseased tissue without using radiation. 

"The only radiation is in the isotope that you're injected with. There is no radiation involved with taking the images."  And she said that goes away quickly. "Within six hours, your body's already broke it down and expelled it out," said McGhee.

Many patients dislike the mammogram because it compresses so much of the breast tissue, it hurts.  But it has to basically flatten the breast for a good, clear picture. This newer technology is much more comfortable, according to former breast cancer patient Monica Black. 

"It is a whole lot more gentler. And I know that in the end results that the results of what they see is going to be a whole lot better," she said.

Black was diagnosed with breast cancer 11 years ago. She has been tested using both machines and said this new once was a surprise. 

"It did surprise me, especially when I realized that what they can see is a whole lot better than actually mashing you down so hard," she laughed.

So will molecular breast imaging take the place of mammography? 

"Mammography is the golden standard. It is going to be the first diagnostic tool that all doctors are going to order because it shows such detail," said McGhee.

Other tests include ultrasound, CT, MRI, and standard mammography. She said this new tool gives physicians a different method of looking at the breast tissue.

"It's really effective on dense tissue that's difficult to look through," said McGhee.

That can help with a quicker diagnosis, faster treatment and hopefully a cure.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

1414 North Memorial Parkway
Huntsville, AL 35801
256-533-4848

WAFF Is a Proud Member
of the Raycom Family of Stations


FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WAFF. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.