New Breast Cancer Screening Tool Developed by Komen Scholar to be discussed at Komen San Diego’s Annual Dinner Symposium


Dr. Deborah Rhodes is Associate Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic and Komen Scholar










About Deborah J. Rhodes, M.D.  

Deborah J. Rhodes, M.D., is an associate professor of medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She practices in the Breast Clinic and the Executive Health and International Medicine Clinic at Mayo Clinic.  She is the past director of the Women’s Health Fellowship and the Executive Health Program.  She currently serves as an Associate Medical Director in the Department of Development.

Dr. Rhodes received a B.A. degree in history and literature from Harvard College and an M.D degree from Cornell University Medical College. She completed an internship and residency in internal medicine, followed by a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars fellowship all at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She joined Mayo Clinic in 1997.

Dr. Rhodes’ research interests focus on improving detection of breast cancer in women with mammographically dense breasts.  She served as principle investigator in the two largest screening studies evaluating Molecular Breast Imaging, a novel nuclear medicine imaging technique that has been found to increase detection of invasive breast cancers in the dense breast by over 300%.  Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the National Cancer Institute, among other organizations. Her research findings have been highlighted on national network news multiple times in 2016.

In 2016, she was appointed by the Susan G. Komen foundation as a Komen Scholar, an advisory group of “distinguished leaders in breast cancer research involved in high-quality, innovative research that seeks to discover and deliver the cures for breast cancer and have made or hold promise to make significant contributions to advancing the field.” 

Dr. Rhodes is the assistant medical editor of AskMayoExpert, overseeing the development of over 160 clinical practice algorithms to define best patient care and promote practice convergence.  Dr. Rhodes has served in journal review and editorial activities for publications including Clinically Speaking, Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine Textbook, and Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource. She has co-authored numerous articles, book chapters, abstracts and letters. In addition, she has served in teaching and mentorship activities throughout her training and career. She received the Outstanding Faculty Member Award and the Outstanding Course Award for her educational activities at Mayo.  In 2013, she received the Henry S. Plummer Distinguished Physician award, the highest award in the Department of Medicine for recognition of clinical expertise by peers. 

Molecular Breast Imaging

Dr. Rhodes and her team at the Mayo Clinic used a bit of ingenuity and duct tape (yes, duct tape!) to develop and study a new breast cancer screening tool called Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI). Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) is a new breast imaging technique that quadruples detection rates of invasive breast cancers in women with dense breast tissue according to Mayo Clinic. In some cases, tumors that are surrounded by dense breast tissue become obscured and aren’t detected on a regular mammogram.

The Mayo Clinic conducted a study in which 1,585 women with heterogeneously or extremely dense breasts underwent an MBI at the time of their mammogram, and found that the detection rate increased by more than 360 percent. Dr. Deborah Rhodes and her team have worked over the past 10 years to develop this tool. To learn more about MBI and the related study click here.

For more information on “Screen, Genes & The Choices We Make,” presented by Bank of America, visit Komen San Diego’s events.

Click here for event information! “Screen, Genes & The Choices We Make presented by Bank of America.”