The fight against breast cancer has just gotten stronger at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. In October, we installed a new tool for breast cancer detection called the Sentinelle Vanguard MR Auxiliary Table, which is a dedicated breast MRI system. This MRI table is the only one of its kind in Illinois—the next closest one to our area is in Ohio. The OSF Saint Francis Center for Health on Route 91, conveniently located near the OSF Saint Francis Center for Breast Health, is the home to this new technology.
What are the uses for breast MRI?
Breast MRI exams are very sensitive in detecting breast cancers. In our community, breast MRI is now typically used to further evaluate patients recently diagnosed with breast cancer. In this manner, it is used for pre-HEALTHoperative evaluation of patients to help determine the extent of cancer in a breast prior to surgery. Both breasts are imaged simultaneously, therefore evaluating the contralateral breast for occult malignancy that may not be detected on other breast imaging studies.
Breast MRI can also be used with mammography to screen women who are at a high risk for breast cancer. In fact, the American Cancer Society now recommends annual breast MRI screenings with annual mammograms for certain high-risk women.
Due to the high sensitivity of breast MRI, it can also show areas that may or may not be cancer. This can lead to breast biopsies, which often need to be performed in the MRI scanner.
What are the advantages of the Sentinelle Vanguard MRI Table?
The new dedicated breast MRI system is state-of-the-art and is extremely advantageous as a breast imaging and interventional tool. The Sentinelle Vanguard table has a specialized coil within it which provides superior image quality with improved signal-to-noise compared to standard breast MRI coils. This means that the images are extremely clear for detailed imaging. In addition, the coils can be positioned for each patient, providing customized imaging.
This table is designed for improved patient comfort, with special padding that can be adjusted for each patient. Due to its customizable nature, patients can be more comfortably positioned in the MRI scanner. Improved comfort can also result in better imaging!
The Sentinelle table allows easier access to all quadrants of the breast for needle biopsies. When a patient needs to have a biopsy in the MRI scanner, radiologists can now access areas which previously could not be biopsied. Comfort is also improved during biopsies.
The OSF Saint Francis Center for Health has four dedicated technologists who are specially trained to image patients using this breast MRI dedicated system. They work closely with three dedicated, fellowship-trained breast imaging radiologists with Central Illinois Radiological Associates, Ltd., who provide coverage at the Breast Center. For more information, call the OSF Saint Francis Center for Breast Health at (309) 683-5522. iBi