New imaging tech catches Patchogue grandmother's breast cancer

Posted: Updated:
ROCKVILLE CENTRE -

A Patchogue grandmother says she's grateful to celebrate Mother's Day this year now that her hard-to-find breast cancer was discovered and treated.

Patricia Carlson, 73, says her mother had breast cancer, so she was vigilant about getting herself checked regularly. Nothing was found until she learned recently that she actually had breast cancer for about 15 years.

An MBI, or molecular breast imaging, machine finally found the cancer.  The $500,000 machine at Mercy Medical Center is the only one in New York state. Doctors say it's used in addition to mammography because it provides a more detailed image.

In Carlson's case, a dermatologist found a lump on her neck and sent her for testing. She has a pacemaker, so she couldn't have an MRI, but even with other testing, only some of the cancer was discovered. Doctors at St. Catherine of Siena called colleagues at Mercy to do the MBI scan.

Doctors say MBI technology can detect 400% more invasive cancers than digital mammography by itself. The MBI picked up a so-called hotspot, so Carlson had a biopsy. The cancer was found and then removed.

Carlson says she's back to living her life and enjoying her family.

Doctors say the MBI scan is also useful in diagnosing women with dense breasts.

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