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Women's Imaging

 

Diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) may soon command broader consideration than it’s been getting as a supplemental breast-screening tool. The modality not only finds many breast cancers that don’t show up on mammograms but also outperformed supplemental breast ultrasound in a study published online Oct. 28 in Clinical Imaging.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Oct. 27 reminder that thermography is not an acceptable substitute for mammography.

Screening mammography providers “on wheels” planning to serve medically underserved Latino communities would do well to first communicate with each community on perceptions of such services and, where needed, to offer education prior to rolling in.

Following screening mammography that turns up nothing, women with dense breast tissue are much more likely to pursue additional imaging with automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) when two things happen: their radiologists inform them of their tissue density and encourage them to consider the secondary exam because of it.

Image quality in mammography, thanks to concerns about radiation dose, faces a Goldilocks problem—where radiologists want to get the best image possible, while also minimizing risk to the patient. 

 

Recent Headlines

Danish study challenges value of screening mammography, draws sharp criticism from U.S. orgs

European researchers have reviewed a huge mammography dataset and found no association between screening mammography and a reduction in the incidence of advanced breast cancer. 

35 is too young to start screening mammography: Irish study

In Ireland, national guidelines call for women to begin routine screening mammograms at 35 years old. That’s too soon, according to the authors of a new analysis showing just 2.1 cancers per 1,000 symptomatic women aged 35 to 39 who were screened over a five-year period. 

The future is bright for aspiring breast imagers—but where best to practice?

The medical job market is ripe for radiologists specialized in breast imaging, and new rads considering this career path would do well to read “What You Need to Know—A Primer for Radiologists Entering Breast Imaging,” published online Dec. 22 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Expanded genetic testing points more women to screening breast MRI

Testing for gene mutations beyond just BRCA1 and BRCA2 would indicate screening breast MRI and other proactive measures for many women who would not have been considered candidates for such measures going by family history alone, according to a large-sample study published online Dec. 21 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

The defeat of breast cancer will mark the beginning of the end for cancer, period

If the war on cancer is ever decisively and finally won, chances are good the world will look back and see that the first major turning point was the eradication of breast cancer. And this initial victory will be remembered as a smart place to have started. 

Breast radiologists increasingly collaborating with—and adding value to—multidisciplinary care teams

Outcomes stand to be optimized when breast care is delivered in a multidisciplinary milieu—as long as such care incorporates screening, diagnosis of borderline and high-risk lesions, and management of the breast cancer patient.

For high-risk women, even small lesions on breast MRI call for prompt assessment and biopsy

A U.K. study based on a departmental audit has confirmed previous research suggesting that MRI-detected small enhancing masses and new small enhancing foci, including those smaller than 5 millimeters, should be considered suspicious in women at high risk for breast cancer.

Attention must be paid to high abnormal-interpretation rates in modern screening mammography

Most radiologists performing digital screening mammography in U.S. community practice are meeting or exceeding most of the American College of Radiology’s performance recommendations. However, almost half have higher abnormal interpretation rates (AIRs) than established benchmarks and ACR’s recommendations on that metric—and that’s a serious problem calling for a concerted effort to solve.  

Hospitals can do more to teach patients about mammography

A recent study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology examined one reason issues in women’s imaging may be so hard to follow: Hospitals aren’t using their own resources to educate patients. 

Mammography more effective when compared to previous screenings

According to researchers at the University of California, the recall rate of screening mammography is greatly reduced when physicians compare present and past mammograms.

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