Breast cancer, low sensitivity of mammography? Are you OK?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Also, unlike other cancers, patients develop cancer from their 20s. 60,000 people get sick and 13,000 die each year. Mammography, which is used to diagnose breast cancer, uses X-rays. Irradiation of  the body , which is thought to harmful to the body due to radiation exposure. It’s a burden, and you may need to expose your breasts and put a contrast agent into your body. Some times patients feel pain. Dr. Takahara invented DWIBS (Diffusion-weighted Whole Body Imaging with Background Body Signal), which is capable of whole-body cancer scanning. According to Professor Takahara, the  patients of DWIBS exceeded 1000 cases as of February 2019, of which the cancer detection rate was 1.4% in 706 cases for which the results were complete. This result was five times higher than the 0.3% cancer detection rate of general mammography. Mammography can lead to some missed breast cancer deaths, when compared with DWIBS.  Given that the current overall breast cancer mortality rate is said to be 30%, this difference is significant. DWIBS images the diffusion (movement) of water molecules in cells. Simply put, it determines the degree of diffusion of water molecules and distinguishes normal cells from cancer cells. Since cancer cells have a higher density than normal cells, the water molecules inside the cells are difficult to move, so it is possible to identify the location of cancer cells. Professor Takahara has improved this and made it possible to take a bird’s-eye view of the cancer of the whole body by performing “BS” (background signal suppression). In 2017, it also became possible to measure tumor size directly. Being able to measure the size means that quantification is possible. In other words, it is possible to determine whether the tumor has grown by measuring how much the size has changed compared to the previous test results. Last year I received this DWIBS. As a result, a suspicious image was found in the prostate. I immediately went to a hospital specializing in urology and had a normal abdominal MRI. This examination suggested cancer, so a biopsy of the prostate was performed. Fortunately, it was not cancer, but the power of DWIBS was shown. DWIBS is an excellent system that can scan the whole body at once in about 30 minutes without using X-rays while wearing an examination gown, and this system is beginning to spread in Japan.

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