Women's Imaging

Breast cancer screening using digital breast tomosynthesis has risen rapidly in the United States, but that isn’t the case in all regions or across all institutions, according to a new study published in Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology.

Although most studies demonstrating the benefits of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) have been observational, use of the modality has risen dramatically over the past few years, according to a study of more than nine million women published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The lopsided male-to-female ratio among radiologists and radiology residents—around three men for every one woman—has remained stubbornly constant despite years-long efforts to narrow the gap. This reality is reinforced each time the American College of Radiology conducts its annual workforce survey.

“In a scenario where double reading at screening mammography is not available…we believe that the use of this model as a second reader could be beneficial,” wrote researchers in a new study published by Radiology.

Proponents of risk-based mammography screening claim the method successfully emphasizes its benefits and minimizes its harms, but new research has found it may not be as effective as age-based screening.

Mammography clinics are getting creative these days in an effort  to make breast screening a little more appealing. Massage chairs and goody bags are only a few of the ways imaging providers are trying to make the experience more positive.

Adding MRI to mammography screening for breast cancer detects more cancers, but results in more unnecessary biopsies, according to a June 4 study published in Radiology.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study analyzing the influence of reading volume on reading performance in a screening program that uses independent double reading of digital mammograms with consensus,” wrote authors of a new study published in Radiology.

One of the biggest ongoing trends in healthcare in recent years has been the increased focus on educating women about breast density. Dense breast tissue can obscure small masses and lower the sensitivity of mammograms, making it especially vital that women know their options if mammography reveals they have dense breasts.

On February 15 of this year, Congress passed national breast density legislation, which mandates all mammography reports and summaries notify women of their breast density. A trio of researchers discussed whether the law will help or confuse patients in a recent JAMA commentary.

Targeted breast ultrasound should be the first-line imaging test in patients with palpable lumps after mastectomy. Mammography can help confirm suspected cases, but did not find any additional cancers.

“Our findings show that radiotherapy is still highly effective in significantly improving local control and disease-free survival in combination with anti-hormones, compared to anti-hormones alone,” said Gerd Fastner, MD, during a presentation at the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) 38 conference in Milan, Italy.