News

New program at AU Health/AU Health Imaging helps identify patients at higher risk for breast cancer

Woman with breast cancer ribbon on her chest
Avatar photo
Written by Lisa Kaylor

According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetimes, and 1 in 39 will die from it.

Finding breast cancer in its earliest stages is vital for successfully treating it –  or even beating it. That is why regular screenings and mammograms are so important for women, especially women age 40 and over.

Mammograms at AU Health and AU Health Imaging now include MagView, a new tool to help determine who is at greatest risk for breast cancer.

“We can identify a high-risk patient and develop a plan for their breast health, or for instance we could recommend a breast MRI in a high-risk patient, which is a much more sensitive tool,” said Lead Mammography Technician Caroline Sullivan.

MagView is an extensive questionnaire that takes into consideration factors that span the patient’s profile, including personal history of breast biopsies, family members’ history of breast and ovarian cancer and breast density.

“From information that is collected by MagView, a patient’s breast cancer risk score is then calculated with much greater accuracy than other, less extensive models,” said Lance Danko, administrator at AU Health Imaging.

MagView, which was implemented in February at imaging sites throughout AU Health System, digs deep into a patient’s lifestyle, family history, etc. If a patient is determined to need more screening, such an MRI, it can be done on-site.

Patients can choose to fill out the questionnaire at home before their appointment, or when they arrive for their appointment.

“We have tablets here they can fill out themselves, or the techs can go over the questions with them in the exam room,” Sullivan said.

All mammograms are read by AU Health’s sub-specialized breast radiologists for the most accurate, detailed readings.

Through October, AU Health Imaging is celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month with special pricing, walk-in mammograms and extended hours.

In addition to regular business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday), the clinic will remain open until 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4 and 18 and will open 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 15.

Mammograms will also be offered at a special $99 cash pay option for those without insurance. For more information or to schedule an appointment with AU Health Imaging, call 706-723-8860.

About the author

Avatar photo

Lisa Kaylor

Lisa Kaylor is the Lead Communications and Media Coordinator for AU Health. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-5292 or lkaylor@augusta.edu.