New technology benefits breast screening patients in Gateshead

Patients in Gateshead will be the first in the region to benefit from a new type of technology, which will provide a quicker and a more comfortable way to detect breast cancer.

A special type of mammogram, called Contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM) will be used at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust to improve diagnosis during breast screening.

A solution is injected into the patient’s vein minutes before the mammogram is taken – and special software is then used to detect abnormal areas that a standard mammogram is unable to pick up.

CESM is less expensive, significantly quicker and less invasive for patients, as it significantly reduces the need for MRI scans of the breast, which carry challenges of claustrophobia for patients.

Joanne Brand, lead radiographer for breast screening at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am very proud of the breast screening department over the past year as we have faced many challenges during the pandemic. Despite this, we are thrilled to be able to introduce this new technology that will be of huge benefit to our breast screening patients – and ultimately make their experience with us more comfortable and less invasive while providing more timely and accurate scan results.

“We are proud to have been able to forge ahead with new innovations, service improvements and continue to provide an excellent breast screening service to Gateshead and the surrounding regions.”