Technology and treatments advance in fight against breast cancer

Over the past year, radiologists at the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive breast care center learned about some of the changes in technology for detecting and treating cancer

Joanie Abdu mobile breast cancer screening unit.

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the spotlight is on innovative treatment options and the struggle to find a cure.

Over the past year, radiologists at the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center learned about some of the changes in technology for detecting and treating cancer.

Doctor Ralph Perrico says the advances in technology are dramatic compared to just a few years ago. One difference is in mammograms.

Digital mammograms give a more in-depth look at the breast, helping radiologists detect breast cancer when looking at the scans, along with improvements for MRIs and ultrasounds made specifically for detecting breast cancer.

Perrico said they are taking a closer look at breast density and what changes in the tissue mean.

“We take both breast density and risk model assessments and modify a patient’s recommendations for what they should be doing each year,’ Perrico said.

That risk model assessment is a questionnaire that goes over things such as family history and factors that could change the steps you take in preventative care.

Another innovation in the battle against breast cancer is the Joanie on the Go mobile unit. The vehicle went into service in September.

The inside of the van is set up like a screening room inside the clinic. It allows medical personnel to travel to patients to do the screenings.

“We are reaching a lot more of those people who may not be able to make it in every year,” Perrico said. “At least catching the ones that may have something that alerts them that they need to get in here and maybe get a full diagnostic workup.”

The mobile unit has screened 120 women in the one month since it went into service.