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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

5 pointers for breast rads willing to learn from common mistakes

It’s not unusual for radiologists reviewing prior breast imaging exams to discover cancers that went missed the first time around. Such circumstances can and should provide a valuable learning opportunity, according to the authors of an article running in the November-December edition of Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology.

Do breast density reporting laws help keep women informed?

Breast density reporting laws now exist in 28 states, but do women in those states know what, exactly, it means if an exam reveals they have dense breasts? According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, a majority of women in states with such laws do not know specific details about breast density and what it can mean for a woman’s health if she has dense breasts. 

PET-guided breast cancer therapy targets specific hormones in individual patients

A new PET-guided method to monitoring tumor growth could help doctors identify the ways cancer avoids certain kinds of treatment. Researchers published the results of a trial studying this method in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

 
More women getting screened for breast cancer as CMS’s shared-savings program matures

Crunching the data on screening mammography utilization in the wake of the establishment of Medicare’s Shared Savings Program, researchers at Johns Hopkins have found what they’re calling “small but significant” improvements: From 2012 to 2014, participating ACOs grew their screening volumes by a mean of 2.6 percent.

Breast density website reminds patients to dig deeper on internet searches

A website offering information about dense breasts, Dense Breast Info, wants women to be aware of their services, even though they aren’t always the first result in an internet search about breast density.

 
False-positive mammograms don’t send patients fleeing from future screenings

Women who receive false-positive mammograms may be disconcerted, aggravated or otherwise put off by the experience, but they don’t subsequently abandon screening mammography guidelines en masse, according to a study running in the September edition of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Second-look ultrasounds useful in young women at high risk for breast cancer

According to a new study published in the journal Clinical Radiology, targeted second-look ultrasounds and ultrasound-targeted biopsies are relatively cheap and useful for young women who are at high risk of breast cancer who have already undergone MRIs.

 
New effort aims to increase breast density awareness among Hispanic women

The breast health organization Are You Dense? released two new resources for Spanish-speaking women to learn about their breast health and breast cancer screening options. The organization’s partnership with Madre Latina, called EMPOWERED, encourages Hispanic women in general to be the “ambassadors of [their] own lives.”

 
Hospital mammography departments have work to do on the communications front

Many patients who look to their local hospital’s website for educational information on screening mammography come away flummoxed by what they find, according to a study published online Sept. 9 in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Docs’ eyes with BI-RADS slightly better than software at separating breast cancer patients from control subjects

Following imaging with full-field digital mammography, radiologists’ visual inspection paired with clinical BI-RADS breast-density scores has bested both fully automated and semiautomated computer-assisted methods at distinguishing between 125 breast-cancer patients and 274 control subjects.

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