North Dakota Governor Signs Breast Density Bill Into Law

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
HealthImaging (4/15, Godt) reports that North Dakota’s “breast density reporting bill requiring that patients are notified if a mammogram reveals dense breast tissue” has been signed into law by Governor Jack Dalrymple (R). 

Report: US Spending On False-Positive Mammograms, Breast Cancer Overdiagnoses Estimated At $4 Billion Annually

Tuesday, April 7, 2015
According to the AP (4/7, Alonso-Zaldivar), “a new report estimates that the U.S. spends $4 billion a year on unnecessary medical costs due to mammograms that generate false alarms, and on treatment of certain breast tumors unlikely to cause problems.” The research, published in “Health Affairs, breaks the cost down as follows: $2.8 billion resulting from false-positive mammograms and another $1.2 billion attributed to breast cancer overdiagnosis,” which is “the treatment of tumors that grow slowly or not at all, and are unlikely to develop into life-threatening disease during a woman’s lifetime.”

Radiologist Explains How Her Practice Educates Women On Breast Screening Modalities

Thursday, April 2, 2015
In a special piece for Aunt Minnie (4/2), Dr. Amy Thumond, director of Women’s Imaging & Intervention, writes that in her own practice in Oregon, “for every patient, along with the written breast density notification required by law, we provide a table that shows the six breast cancer screening modalities – digital mammography, tomosynthesis, ultrasound, breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI), MRI, and thermography – side-by-side,” providing comparisons of “the modalities by energy source, radiation, whether an injection is needed, and approximate cost for cash pay.” That table has proven to be helpful “during the patient discussion of modalities and risks compared with benefits for each option.” Dr. Thumond also points out that the American College of Radiology’s website “and its companion patient site mammographysaveslives.org are excellent resources for ordering physicians to help them respond to common patient questions.”