Women's Imaging

Lisa Quamme, breast health coordinator and senior radiology technologist at Northpoint Health and Wellness Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, spoke to Radiology Business about how the system has improved their mammography screening.

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. 

Countless studies have shown 3D mammography can reduce false positives and increases cancer detection in women with dense breasts, it creates a better overall patient experience, and insurance companies are finally beginning to cover costs associated with 3D mammograms.

Researchers and clinicians from Cooper University Hospital have been using spectral mammography on a daily basis since November 2012. A group of residents, fellows and faculty from Cooper published a review of techniques and practical applications of contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM) in Academic Radiology.

Researchers in the U.S. and South Korea have collaborated to create and validate an evidence-based rule that can accurately predict which women with ovarian cancer are not at significant risk for metastases in the chest and abdomen—and thus not really in need of some guideline-recommended CT scans.

The radiology subspecialty of breast imaging has its problems, not least the discord it deals with every day over screening scheduling. 

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. 

The growing influence of artificial intelligence and deep learning in healthcare has led some writers to theorize that certain specialties, including radiology, would soon be “replaced” by machines.

Even when they don’t know the exact location or nature of the problem, radiologists can tell something is not quite right with a mammogram in the blink of an eye. 

In staging advanced breast cancers for bony metastasis, CT of the thorax, abdomen and pelvis can effectively replace nuclear bone scans in facilities where both exams together are currently considered optimal. The CT-only approach stands to save money and, presumably, reduce patient stress.

Guidelines exist for imaging pregnant or potentially pregnant patients presenting with acute abdominal and pelvic signs or symptoms. However, a newly published survey of radiologists shows that, in practice, consistency continues to be spotty. 

While the costs of cancer continue to rise, examining which treatments are worth the time and money is increasingly more important to physicians looking to find the most affordable and effective treatments.