Breast Cancer Staging: Physiology Trumps Anatomy

Monday, May 1, 2017
Author: Maxine Jochelson, MD, FSBI

The purpose of this paper is to address the importance of physiologic imaging for the staging and follow up of patients with breast cancer according to the principles of precision medicine. Precision medicine is the “tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics, needs and preferences of a patient during all stages of care, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.” Currently, physiologic imaging is primarily performed with 18F –FDG- PET/CT, but other tracers are increasingly being used towards the goal of more specific tumor targeting.

Women Becoming More Aware of the Term “Breast Density,” but May Not Understand Its Relationship to Cancer Detection or Mammography

Monday, October 31, 2016

Reuters (10/28, Crist) reports that research indicates “women are becoming more aware of the term ‘breast density,’ but they aren’t as familiar with its relation to breast cancer risk or mammograms.” The study found that “African American and Ashkenazi Jewish women, who may be at a higher risk for breast cancer, seemed to be less knowledgeable about breast density.” The findings were published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. 

MRI Before Surgery in Women Whose Cancer was Detected by Ultrasound May Find Additional Cancers

Monday, October 31, 2016

Diagnostic Imaging (10/28) reported that research indicated “MRI before surgery in women whose cancer was detected by ultrasound found additional cancers.” The findings were published in Radiology. 

Some Breast Cancer Surgery Patients Not Getting Recommended Follow-Up Care, Study Indicates

Friday, October 28, 2016

Medscape (10/27, Tucker) reports on a study from the National Cancer Database presented at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress that examined follow-up preventative care in patients who undergo surgery for breast cancer. While the guidelines from the “American Cancer Society and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommend mammography 6 to 12 months after completion of radiation therapy for breast cancer and annual mammography thereafter,” the study found “that only two thirds of women diagnosed with stage II or III disease receive breast imaging in the first follow-up year after surgery, and nearly two thirds are not receiving annual imaging for the subsequent 4 years.” 

New York City Public Advocate Calls on NYC, State of New York to Expand Access to DBT

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Aunt Minnie (10/26) reports, “New York City Public Advocate Letitia James has called on New York City and the state of New York to expand access to digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT).” Earlier this week “in a...press conference, James requested that NYC Health + Hospitals invest in DBT technology and for the state to add DBT to its Medicaid benefits package.” James “noted that while DBT technology is widely available in private hospitals in New York City, it’s only available at one hospital in the NYC Health + Hospitals network.”