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Breast Cancer Screening

Breast Cancer Screening

USPSTF Recommendations Ignore Reality of Breast Cancer

Annual mammogram screening beginning at age 40 saves lives. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends less frequent screening at a later age, not because screening will not save lives, but because it will not save sufficient numbers of lives when started before age 50.

The guidelines are based on outdated, blemished data and do not evaluate cost-effectiveness or any other benefits of early detection. In fact, USPSTF states, “Screening mammography in women ages 40 to 49 years may reduce the risk of dying of breast cancer, but the number of deaths averted is much smaller than in older women and the number of false-positive tests and unnecessary biopsies are larger.”[…]

By | April 24, 2015|Categories: 40 not 50, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Screening|1 Comment

Breast Biopsy Results Not Always Accurate

The results from a recent breast biopsy study reinforce the importance pathologists play in the management of breast diseases. Oncologists can have all the greatest tools at their disposal, but without an accurate diagnosis, these tools can be rendered useless.

A new study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), provides further evidence towards this inclination. The March 2015 study suggests that pathologist frequently disagree on some high-risk breast lesions.

Breast Biopsy | Is it ADH or DCIS?

To diagnose a breast lesion, tissue is sampled from a patient’s breast using a biopsy needle and sent to a laboratory for testing. A pathologist, a physician […]

By | April 9, 2015|Categories: Breast Cancer Screening, Breast Surgery|0 Comments

Breast Tissue Density Awareness

Breast Density Awareness Varies Among American Women

Awareness of breast tissue density issues varies among American women. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota recently performed a national, cross-sectional survey to gauge differences in breast density knowledge across different patient populations.

Breast Tissue Density awareness

Approximately 1,500 women responded to the survey and results were published in Journal of Clinical Oncology. Based on results, researchers determined that race and ethnicity, education and income played a role in how likely a woman was to understand breast tissue density issues.

  • 58 percent of respondents had heard of breast density.
  • 49 percent were aware breast cancer detection can be affected by breast density.
  • […]

By | March 16, 2015|Categories: Breast Cancer Screening|2 Comments

Do Breast Density Laws Improve Public Knowledge?

It is essential that women and their physicians understand how breast density affects breast cancer risk and screening. As of December 2014, 18 states had passed breast density laws to help improve public knowledge surrounding breast density by requiring radiologists to inform patients when mammography reveals dense breast tissue.

Despite these developments, several recent surveys suggest that neither patients nor physicians fully understand the relationship between dense breast tissue, breast cancer risk, and breast cancer screening.

Patient Knowledge Regarding Breast Density

Public awareness campaigns to promote mammography screening have been effective and a significant reason breast cancer mortality has fallen over the past several years. In a survey conducted by the Working Mother […]

By | January 26, 2015|Categories: Breast Cancer Screening, Breast Conditions|Tags: |0 Comments

Informing Women About the Benefits of a Mammogram Exam

Despite large-scale campaigns to publicize the importance of breast cancer screening, a lot of faulty information regarding the mammogram exam is still being delivered to patients and sometimes interpreted as fact.

To gauge where gaps in knowledge about breast cancer screening are most commonly occurring, the Working Mother Research Institute recently surveyed more than 2,500 women aged 35 and older to see what they know. While the results contain good news, there are areas where physicians can better educate their patients.

Most Women Have Been Screened

Fortunately, many women are well aware of the importance of screening. A majority of women (80 percent) surveyed for the ‘Working Mother […]

By | January 12, 2015|Categories: Breast Cancer Screening|Tags: , |0 Comments

SABCS 2014: Breast Cancer Prevention, Screening & Genetic Testing

This year at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) there were two aspects of breast cancer that were clearly emphasized: use of ovarian suppression in premenopausal women with breast cancer and advances in genetic testing for hereditary cancer predisposition.

San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium 2014
Results of the SOFT trial (further detailed by Dr. Wade Smith in this post), show a clear benefit to the addition of ovarian suppression in women under the age of 35. This benefit resembles that seen with the addition of Herceptin for HER2+ cancer, and now calls for a change in practice management.

The second “call for action” released […]

Researchers Investigate 3D Mammography Cost-Effectiveness

Early research has shown that 3D mammography can improve breast cancer detection rates and reduce false-positive rates. In women with dense breast tissue, which can mask cancers on conventional mammography, 3D mammography is emerging as a valuable supplemental screening tool.

Is 3D Mammography Cost Effective?

Recent research published in Radiology concluded that 3D mammography is a cost-effective way to screen for cancer in women with dense breast tissue. Using data collected from the National Cancer Institute and Medicare, researchers from the University of Washington and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance attempted to calculate the cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) added when 3D mammography was performed in […]

By | December 29, 2014|Categories: Breast Cancer Screening|Tags: , , |0 Comments

BRCA 1 and BRCA2 Genes: What Do Women Need to Know?

Inherited genetic mutations can increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. For instance, a mutation in two of the better-understood genes linked to a substantial increased risk of breast cancer, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, account for up to:

  • 10 percent of all breast cancers.
  • 50 percent of hereditary breast cancers (caused by inherited genetic mutations).

Women with a strong family history of breast cancer should take time to learn how genetic testing is appropriate for them. It is important to remember that risk can be passed down from either your father or mother. A detailed knowledge of the medical history of your relatives can be extremely helpful.

[…]

Radiologist Experience Affects Quality of Mammogram Results

Many women are aware that annual mammogram screening should begin at age 40 according to American Cancer Society guidelines. This offers the best possible chance for early detection of breast cancer, which improves treatment prospects.

However, there is reason to believe that the quality of mammography results can vary from one radiologist to the next. New research suggests that experience matters when it comes to reading a mammogram.

Researchers have considered many factors affecting the quality of mammogram results. Studies have investigated characteristics of mammogram readers like age, years since receiving a medical degree and volume of mammograms read per year.

Researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia and Harvard Medical School […]

By | November 24, 2014|Categories: Breast Cancer Screening|Tags: |0 Comments

Understanding Advancements in Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer

Our understanding of breast cancer is rapidly advancing. Breast cancer is not a single disease entity, but a heterogeneous disease spectrum with numerous genetic alterations involved in its pathogenesis.

  • Some breast cancers are indolent and not life-threatening, while others are very aggressive.
  • Similarly, we find different genetic alterations in different breast cancers.
  • Some of these genetic changes are familial, or the result of genetic mutations passed from parent to child.

The BRCA genes were the first to shed light on familial breast cancer genetics. Now we are capable of screening over a dozen different genes for mutations implicated in breast cancer risk. Navigating these new complexities in genetic testing can be […]

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