Renate Engelbrecht
Content producer
3 minute read
8 Mar 2022
5:30 pm

Parklane Radiology is the only Breast Imaging Centre of Excellence in Africa

Renate Engelbrecht

'For women at higher risk of developing breast cancer, MRI is particularly helpful in detecting aggressive cancers at an earlier stage.'

Breast health. Image: iStock

Interventional and diagnostic radiologist, Dr Peter Schoub says on average, one in eight women will develop breast cancer.

This is why regular, precise, and reliable imaging can help save lives through early identification and treatment and by the looks of things, Parklane Radiology might now be the best place to get reliable breast imaging.

Dr Schoub and the team at Parklane Radiology’s Women’s Wellness Centre, located opposite Netcare Park Lane Hospital have been recognised by the American College of Radiology (ACR) for their hard work in building a service that meets the stringent international standards in this important discipline, making Parklane Radiology the first and only Breast Imaging Centre of Excellence in Africa.

The requirements of the ACR process for accreditation as a Breast Imaging Centre of Excellence (BICOE) encompass all breast imaging modalities, including breast MRI, mammography, stereotactic biopsy and breast ultrasound.

Parklane therefore had to demonstrate a high degree of proficiency in each of these types of imaging to qualify for the 3-year accreditation.

Dr Schoub
Dr Schoub. Image: Supplied

The ACR’s evaluation of each modality includes criteria for technical aspects relating to the equipment and its calibration for producing accurate and detailed images, as well as the radiographers, radiologists, operators and technicians’ qualifications and skills.

Parklane Radiology received accreditation for breast MRI in 2017, mammography in 2018, stereotactic biopsy in 2019 and finally for ultrasound in 2021.

Detect breast cancer early

Dr Schoub says, “for women at higher risk of developing breast cancer, MRI is particularly helpful in detecting aggressive cancers at an earlier stage. These scans are also useful for determining the stage of newly diagnosed breast cancers, as well as for further invasive exploration where a mammogram and ultrasound are inconclusive.”

If a mammogram indicates abnormal tissue, other types of imaging may be required to reach a diagnosis and help provide further clarity on the way forward for treating the condition.

According to Dr Schoub, “breast ultrasound is a complementary screening to mammograms which can differentiate fluid-filled cysts from solid lumps.” The latest ultrasound equipment used at Parklane Radiology can also reveal whether a biopsy of a lump is necessary.

READ: Why you need to go for your annual breast cancer screening

When an abnormality is visible on a mammogram and it cannot be felt in a physical examination or be seen on ultrasound, it has to be targeted for biopsy using the mammogram equipment as guide.

This procedure is known as a stereotactic biopsy and is essential for the diagnosis of cancers detected on mammograms and sensitive enough to detect the tiny structures of ductal carcinoma in situ.

Dr Schoub says while self-examination is still important, more than half of breast cancer cannot be detected by self-examination and therefore, annual mammograms are recommended for women over the age of 40.