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Gammagram testing

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Frequently asked questions

How does it work?

Breast specific gamma imaging (BSGI), or gammagram, utilizes a specially developed camera that allows for imaging with mild/minimal compression of the breast. A small amount of a tracing agent is injected into the arm or foot, which is absorbed by all the cells of the body.

Because cancerous cells have a higher rate of metabolic activity, the tracing agent usually concentrates in these cells (if present) to a much greater degree than in normal cells. The tracing agent emits invisible rays, which the gamma imaging system is able to transmit to images like the one pictured on the left.

A malignancy (cancer) is generally revealed as a highly concentrated focal area.


Is gamma imaging right for me?

I've been told I have dense breasts.

Dense breast tissue makes it difficult to interpret a mammogram. In addition, to premenopausal women, dense tissue occurs in women going through hormone replacement therapy or those who have undergone radiation treatment. BSGI detects cellular changes—regardless of breast density—that a mammogram may miss.

High density breast tissue
caused the mammogram result
to be highly suspicious of cancer.

BSGI confirmed by biopsy,
shows that no cancer is present.

I am a breast cancer survivor.

Scar tissue, trauma or radiation therapy can be difficult to differentiate from tumors with mammography. BSGI can see hidden areas and reveal cancerous lesions.

My mammogram shows multiple areas of concern.

Calcium deposits are frequently detected in mammography. While calcifications are benign, some suggest the presence of a malignancy. In such a case, further investigation is necessary.

I have breast implants.

Implants can complicate image interpretation even with special compression views of the breast. Gamma imaging does require minimal compression of the breast and its detection of cancer is not hindered by implants. Pre-authorization from insurance should be obtained prior to having a gammagram.

What are the benefits?

  • May help prevent biopsy
  • Is safe and effective
  • Can provide same-day results
  • Is easy and comfortable
  • Strong diagnostic tool in early breast cancer detection
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