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Women's Health Homepage

Latest ACP mammo guidelines elicit strong opposition Experts say findings could lead to 10,000 more breast cancer deaths annually

Study supports 3D mammography for older women, contrary to USPTSF recommendation New data sheds light on risk-benefit ratio of screening older patients

Volpara and GE expand breast density software partnership GE will become global distributor of VolparaDensity software

FDA proposes changes to mammography regulations First agency efforts to 'modernize' breast screening in over two decades

Not all breast density laws are created equally Research shows that the wording of some notifications result in supplemental testing, others don't

3D mammography helps avoid unnecessary breast biopsies, says study 33 percent difference in biopsy rate compared to standard mammography

New study finds AI breast screening interpretations on par with those of radiologists Could relieve high labor intensity of screening programs

South Dakota passes breast density law Will require all women who undergo mammograms to be notified of their breast density status

FDA warns against thermography alone for breast cancer detection Not a substitute for mammography

Mammography reports nationwide to include patient breast density Federal law takes aim at ensuring breast density awareness

Transforming the breast cancer screening experience with ready access to clinical data

By Cristin Gardner

In today’s highly mobile and connected world, consumers have grown more accustomed to instantaneous data sharing in other aspects of their lives, and expect the same for their healthcare delivery experiences. We can share just about anything we want with our entire network with a few clicks; unless it’s our health data.

Take breast health as one example. Statistics show that 60 million women in the United States get regular mammograms. Women are increasingly demanding better information and more transparency regarding their breast health, as having access to prior mammograms is critical for accurate and efficient cancer detection.
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Unfortunately, the majority of patients today must still navigate a healthcare system in which data blocking is an entrenched business strategy and physician practices cling to old technology such as faxes and compact discs (CDs) to deliver data to patients. This becomes particularly problematic for patients when considering that most laptops and tablets don’t come equipped with disc drives, and the majority of patients do not have easy access to a fax machine. This creates an environment where capturing a patient’s medical history, and arming them with their imaging data in a usable format, is an ongoing challenge.

Patients and providers alike face several barriers when it comes to breast imaging. These barriers often stand in the way of achieving early diagnosis of breast cancer in the most optimal way, and drive millions of false positive diagnoses each year. Some of the most significant challenges include:

1. Lack of prior mammograms
Mammography screening is the best early detection method for early stage, treatable breast cancer. When detected on a mammogram, it is typically 96-99% curable without significant therapy. Because every woman’s breast tissue is unique, clinicians rely on a woman’s prior breast health images to determine what is considered “normal” for each patient, versus an early sign of breast cancer. Sadly, at least one in four women do not have their prior exams available at the time of their screening. When these exams are not available, the patient may experience false positives (results that incorrectly indicate an abnormality) and redundant costly testing, or medical decisions are made with the limited information available. Research reveals that when these prior exams are available at the time of screening, women, together with their providers, are able to make informed decisions and there is significant clinical, experiential and economic value created. Furthermore, having the history readily available reduces the stress that patients experience due to uncertain test results.
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