The Diagnostic Imaging (5/17) reports that according to an article published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, “focal noncyclical breast pain is rarely a sign of cancer,” but ultrasound may nevertheless “be an appropriate imaging modality for initial examination.” A multidisciplinary expert panel, which annually reviews the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria, determined that “appropriate workup depends on the nature and focality of the pain, as well as the age of the patient.”
The Wall Street Journal (5/17, Loftus, Subscription Publication) reports a study conducted by researchers with the American Cancer Society found that detection of some cancers occurred earlier thanks to increased healthcare access under the Affordable Care Act. Data show modest improvement in early detection rates for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer.
Aunt Minnie (5/17, Yee) reports many “mammography patients want to know their estimated lifetime risk of developing breast cancer,” according to a study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology. Researchers surveyed mammography patients and “found that 86% of women expressed an interest in knowing their breast cancer risk in great detail.”
U.S. News & World Report (5/16, Howley) reports on the difficulty of identifying tumors in women with dense breast tissue using a mammogram. Dr. Sue Jane Rivas Grosso, lead interpreting physician for The American College of Radiology Mammography Accreditation Program at Summit Medical Group, said that new “software tools take some of the guesswork out of determining the density of the breasts.” While 23 states require patients to be notified if their breasts are found to be dense, one review of such letters found that they “scored poorly on understandability.” Grosso said, “Even though we’re doing a better job letting people know about dense breasts, these women aren’t necessarily understanding” the notification.