Back in January, I read an article titled The year ahead in radiology: 9 trends to watch in 2016. One of the highlights was “Breast screening debate will continue to rage.”
Well, here we are, two months away from 2017, and this was definitely an accurate statement. The most obvious part of it: when women should start and how often they should be screened, to the types of scans and what insurance should cover.
Now that we’re just over halfway through the year, you can definitely see how this has come to fruition. Since October heralds the start of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we’ll only hear more!
The Number One for Women’s Imaging
The number one trend has been how best to scan women with dense breasts. It is the great debate of the year.
Is mammography enough? In the article How do breast density laws affect radiology practice?, the author discusses how although 28 states have passed legislation to help provide supplemental women’s imaging for those with dense breasts, a lot of facilities have not added alternative imaging.
Why? Because insurance companies do not cover it.
Additionally, facilities still don’t know what type of women’s imaging would be most beneficial. This means that even though over half of the states have passed legislation, there is still little being done about it.
As technology advances, we are realizing that there is not one simple solution.
For facilities without a clear path of what modalities to take on, however, this makes it hard to actually implement any change. The key is education!
We must educate the patient and referring physician to prescribe the best option when it comes to women’s imaging. It’s time for the radiologist to get more involved with these patients and their care.
Alternatives to Mammography
There are multiple solutions and possibilities when it comes to the alternatives to mammography.
MBI, MRI, ultrasound, and tomosynthesis to name a few. One in eight women are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. In the U.S., breast cancer-related deaths are the second highest next to lung cancer.
Last year Time Magazine posted an article saying that by the year 2030, breast cancer rates could increase by 50 percent.
As the healthcare provider and the one responsible for diagnosis, you should also ensure that your software and equipment is as up-to-date as possible.
Upgrading to a software like NovaMG can ease your workflow and help you diagnose more patients, more accurately, in less time. Its features (and features of any good mammography software) include:
- One-click workflow
- Multiple modality support
- Advanced tomosynthesis
- Compliance features
Learn more about NovaMG here.
The breast cancer screening + women’s imaging debate is not just a trend in 2016–this will continue to be on the rise as breast cancer continues to rise.
Make sure your facility is up to date on what you all need to know. Additionally, you must make sure that you are progressive in your practices to give your patients the best chance at surviving Breast Cancer.
This post was written by Allie Robinson, a business policy analyst with Novarad.