Aunt Minnie (10/4, Yee) reports on a study in Academic Radiology which found that radiologists “remain conflicted about breast density notification legislation, whether to recommend supplemental imaging for women with dense breast tissue, and, if so, what kind of imaging is best.” The team led by “Dr. Ana Lourenco at Brown University found that only 66% of respondents to a survey of members of the New England Roentgen Ray Society felt that density notification legislation increased provider awareness about density’s effect on mammographic sensitivity.” Researchers wrote that their study “confirms that radiologists would benefit from further education about breast density laws, the clinical importance of dense breast tissue, and management of women with dense tissue.” The article adds, “a professional society guideline would be very helpful for both referring physicians and radiologists – and the American College of Radiology (ACR) is working on it, Lourenco said.”
The Washington Post (10/3, McGinley) reports in “To Your Health” that “breast cancer death rates declined” nearly “40 percent between 1989 and 2015, averting 322,600 deaths, the American Cancer Society reported” yesterday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. The study indicated “breast cancer death rates increased by 0.4 percent per year from 1975 to 1989.” However, “after that, mortality rates decreased rapidly, for a 39 percent drop overall through 2015.”
TIME (10/3, Park) reports, “In some states, the death rates from breast cancer among white women and black women are equalizing, suggesting that access to screening and treatments are more evenly distributed in those parts of the” US. However, “the data still show that black women have the highest death rates from breast cancer nationally.”
Meanwhile, HealthDay (10/3, Dallas) reports, “The median age for breast cancer deaths is 68, but black patients died younger – at 62, on average.” Also covering the story are Medscape (10/3, Nelson) and Healio (10/3, Leiser).
Aunt Minnie (10/3, Kim) reports that there are “substantial differences around the world in the amount of radiation dose being used for CT scans,” according to a study published online in the American Journal of Roentgenology. Swiss researchers used radiation dose-tracking software to study the amounts in select North American and European medical institutions and found that “CT dose levels measured at California hospitals and from facilities reporting to the American College of Radiology (ACR) Dose Index Registry (DIR) were up to 240% higher than the dose used at their facility, University Hospital Basel.” The piece concludes, “the inconsistency in CT radiation dose used at local neighboring facilities and the wide-ranging differences among distinct registries suggest the need for dose optimization, according to the authors.”
DOT Med News (9/26, Fischer) reports that scientists “have created a new MR contrast agent that can locate and differentiate between aggressive and slow-growing, low-risk types of breast cancer at early stages.” According to DOT Med News, “The gadolinium-based agent lights up cancer biomarkers during scans, overcoming the low sensitivity of MR for imaging markers, and produces signals with different shades ofbrightness that contrast aggressive from slow-growing, low-risk types of cancer.” The research was published in Nature Communications.