Physician Discusses Radiation Options for the Treatment of Breast Cancer

Thursday, March 26, 2015
The Baltimore Sun (3/25) reports that while “radiation plays a significant role in treating patients with breast cancer...there are more options now that can reduce the time spent in therapy or the amount of healthy tissue treated.” In an interview with the Sun, “Dr. Maria C. E. Jacobs, director of radiation oncology at Mercy Medical Center, explains some new techniques and their benefits.” 

Study Examines if Access to FFDM Priors May Affect DBT Interpretation

Thursday, March 26, 2015
Aunt Minnie (3/26, Yee) reports that a study published online March 13 in the journal Radiology asks if “having access to full-field digital mammography (FFDM) priors improve radiologists’ interpretation of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) images.” Researchers found that “the availability of prior” full-field digital mammography (FFDM) and digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) “images are each largely independent contributing factors in reducing recall recommendations during mammographic interpretation.” Should priors be “unavailable, DBT images alone are as good as – if not better than – the combination of current and prior FFDM images in terms of improving a radiologist’s sensitivity,” the study found. 

Study: Ultrasound Outperforms MRI, Digital Mammo for Assessing Breast Tumor Size Preoperatively

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Aunt Minnie (3/25, Ridley) reports that research presented yesterday at the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine meeting suggests that “regardless of breast density, ultrasound outperformed MRI and digital mammography for preoperatively assessing breast tumor size.” In the 93-patient retrospective study, researchers “found that both ultrasound and mammography yielded better performance than MRI, which significantly overestimated tumor sizes. However, ultrasound was the highest overall performer.” 

Harnessing the Power of Social Media May Help Breast Centers Education, Inform Women

Monday, March 23, 2015
Aunt Minnie (3/23, Yee) reports that at the recent National Consortium of Breast Centers meeting, surgeon Dr. Jay Harness of St. Joseph Hospital’s Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment in Orange, CA gave a presentation emphasizing the fact that “breast centers have a unique opportunity to educate and inform women in their communities” by harnessing the power of social media and embedding new video content. Dr. Harness said, “Videos expand your center’s reach beyond your homepage, because patients and their families share them like crazy.” 

CMS Holds to Screening/Diagnostic NCCI Edits

Friday, March 20, 2015
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has rejected the American College of Radiology’s request to delete the newly implemented NCCI edits for screening and diagnostic mammography performed on the same patient on the same date of service. Please refer to the 3/20/15 Advocacy in Action eNews piece for coding guidance when both screening and diagnostic mammography is performed, and a copy of the CMS letter advising how these procedures should be reported.