University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

My name is Victor Vogel. I'm a medical oncologist with the breast cancer program at McGee Women's Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

One of the things that we're investigating are the ways in which genetic mutations -- abnormalities in inherited DNA -- can affect the risk of a woman developing breast cancer.

A number of our researchers are looking at proteins that are produced by the cancer cells and may be detectable by using simple blood tests or urine tests that may lead us to earlier diagnoses of breast cancer in women with pre-disposing genetic mutations. And we believe that this information will also help us to better understand breast cancer in women without genetic mutations and may lead to earlier diagnoses in them as well.

CAT scans make computer-generated images using X-rays, but the pictures appear as slices and show very, very small abnormalities in an organ like the breast.

So we are developing a dedicated breast CAT scan imaging machine that will take CAT scan pictures of the breast that we believe will be able to detect very small, early breast cancers that cannot be seen by mammography or ultrasound or even by MRI.


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