How New Mammography Enhancements Benefit Both Women and Providers
Breast cancer remains a significant threat to women’s health, with a new diagnosis every two minutes in the United States. Despite advances in technology and treatment, thousands of women still lose their lives to the disease each year. Mammography represents the best available tool for early detection, and enhancements in technology and patient comfort are making it easier for providers to detect cancer early, when it’s most treatable. In this blog post, we’ll explore how mammography enhancements benefit both women and providers.
Statistics tell a scary story
The American Cancer Society estimates that, in 2023, nearly 300,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States, with over 40,000 women dying from the disease. Unfortunately, breast cancer screening rates have dropped dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, making early detection even more difficult.
Providers have the power to help ensure happy endings
Annual mammography screenings represent the best chance for early detection and treatment of breast cancer. However, compliance with screening recommendations has long been a challenge for providers, with only about two-thirds of women aged 40 and over reporting having a mammogram within the past two years. Providers need every possible tool to boost compliance and get women back in the habit of annual screenings.
Mammography enhancements: technology and comfort
Today’s mammography enhancements are designed to make screening more comfortable and less painful, while also increasing the likelihood of detecting breast cancer at an early stage. Three-dimensional mammography, or digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), offers advantages over 2-D mammography alone in detecting more breast cancers. Women with dense breast tissue, for example, can benefit from having their exams done with DBT because it acquires several images of the breast at different angles, making any abnormalities easier for the radiologist to see.
In addition to DBT, providers can also offer contrast-enhanced digital mammography (CEDM) and patient comfort features to increase comfort and anxiety relief during the exam. These enhancements can motivate women to return for annual screenings, increasing the chances of early detection.
Screening mammography volumes have not returned to pre-COVID levels. In a recent study, there was a 55% drop in breast cancer screenings between April and June of 2021. Providers need to take advantage of every available tool to encourage women to return for annual screenings.
Breast cancer screening is critical to early detection and successful treatment. Providers should consider adopting mammography enhancements, including 3-D mammography, CEDM, and patient comfort features, to increase compliance and detect cancer earlier.
Mammography enhancements have the potential to benefit both women and providers. By increasing comfort, reducing anxiety, and improving cancer detection rates, these enhancements can save lives and make screening more accessible to all women. Providers who invest in these technologies can take an important step in the fight against breast cancer.