Mammograms Proven To Help Detect Heart Disease

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Jill Chadwick

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          Routine mammography is turning out to be another tool in the doctor’s toolbox for detecting coronary artery disease.  Doctors have long known that coronary arterial calcification or CAC could be detected on mammograms, but for the first time a study presented this week at the 65th Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology now shows a link between the amount of calcium in the arteries of the breast and the level of calcium buildup in coronary arteries.  CAC is considered an early sign of cardiovascular disease. 

        Marc Inciardi, MD, radiologist at The University of Kansas Cancer Center shows and explains what CAC looks like on a mammogram in the video. Charles Porter, MD, cardiologist and medical director of the cardio-oncology program at The University of Kansas Health System explains the significance of this recent study.