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Breast Imaging Goal is to Detect Cancer at Early Stage

Breast imaging is an important part of the work of Dr. Margie Brown, Dr. Marta Kenney and Dr. Kimberly Stigers, who work at the Saint Joseph Breast Center.

The goal of a breast imager is to diagnose breast cancer when it can be treated successfully, ideally at an early stage,” said Dr. Brown. “Although anecdotal reports of cancers regressing on their own exist, until we find a reliable means of prospectively identifying them, the current standard of care is treatment of all noninvasive and invasive breast cancers.”

Mammography’s contribution to the decrease in breast cancer mortality has been debated for several years. The most recent reanalysis of the Swedish Two-County Trial, which followed 130,000 women for almost 30 years, documented a 30-percent risk reduction over a 25-year period.

Dr. Kenney said diagnostic radiologists often rely on more than standard mammography to ascertain a diagnosis. “Cancer may present on imaging in a variety of ways,” she said. “Calcifications, specifically linear/branching, heterogeneous or amorphous in clustered, linear or segmental distribution, are the hallmarks of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).”

Invasive cancers present as masses, areas of architectural distortion or new focal asymmetries, Dr. Kenney said. “The difficulty in interpretation lies in the fact that only some cancers have a ‘classic’ appearance,” she said. “There is considerable overlap between features of cancer and benign entities. For this reason, ultrasound and MR (magnetic resonance) are frequently used as adjuncts to mammography.” (See the article on MRI testing in this issue.)

Mammography is the gold standard for screening average-risk women,” Dr. Brown said. “For women with elevated risk, research supports the addition of screening MR, although a decrease in mortality has not yet been documented. MR screening is reserved for those whose lifetime risk exceeds 20 percent. New technologies, such as tomosynthesis and molecular imaging, may play a role in future breast cancer detection.”

Dr. Stigers addressed the question about which patients should be screened with mammography. “Despite recent media controversies, there is agreement among most major medical organizations, including the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association and the American College of Radiology,” she said. “Annual screening mammography should begin at age 40 and continue as long as a woman’s life expectancy exceeds five years. Regardless of age, personal history of DCIS, invasive breast cancer, lobular neoplasia, atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH) or ovarian cancer should prompt annual mammography. BRCA mutation carriers and others with a lifetime risk of 20 percent or greater are advised to start mammography at age 30.” In addition, women who received mantle radiation between the ages of 10 and 30 should begin screening eight years after XRT, but not before the age of 25.

We have been alarmed at the advertisements in lay literature promoting thermography making claims such as, ‘Breast screening without radiation! Without Pain! FDA Approved!’” Dr. Kenney said. “In fact, the Food and Drug Administration is concerned that women will believe these misleading claims about thermography and will not receive needed mammograms.”

In June 2011, the FDA issued the following safety communication: “Thermography is not a replacement for screening mammography and should not be used by itself to diagnose breast cancer. The FDA is not aware of any valid scientific data to show that thermographic devices, when used on their own, are an effective screening tool for any medical condition.”

By Julie Griffith



One thought on “Breast Imaging Goal is to Detect Cancer at Early Stage

  1. Posted: December 19, 2007T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The six ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:03.1Ground SRM BurnoutThe six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:05.5Air-Lit SRM IgnitionThe three remaining solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket’s first stage are ignited.T+01:06.0Jettison Ground SRMsThe six spent ground-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned in sets of three to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+02:11.5Jettison Air-Lit SRMsHaving burned out, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:23.4Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:31.4Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:36.9Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the upper stage and GPS 2R-18 satellite into the proper orbit.T+04:57.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 9.5-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the GPS 2R-18 satellite atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+10:48.1Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached GPS 2R-18 spacecraft are now in a coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 111 miles at apogee, 94 miles at perigee and inclined 37.5 degrees.T+62:29.2Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a brief firing that will raise the orbit’s high point.T+63:11.7Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down. The orbit achieved should be 670 miles at apogee, 103 miles at perigee and inclined 37.95 degrees. Over the next minute, tiny thrusters on the side of the rocket will be fired to spin up the vehicle in preparation for stage separation.T+64:04.7Stage SeparationThe liquid-fueled second stage is jettisoned from the rest of the Delta 2 rocket.T+64:41.7Third Stage IgnitionThe Thiokol Star 48B solid-fueled third stage is ignited to deliver the GPS 2R-18 satellite into its intended orbit around Earth.T+66:08.4Third Stage BurnoutHaving used up all its solid-propellant, the third stage burns out to completed the powered phase of the launch sequence for GPS 2R-18.T+68:01.7GPS 2R-18 SeparationThe U.S. Air Force’s NAVSTAR Global Positioning System Block 2R-18 spacecraft is released into space. The Delta should have placed the satellite into a transfer orbit with a high point of 10,998 nautical miles and low point of 104 nautical miles inclined 40 degrees. The satellite will circularize its orbit and raise inclination to 55 degrees for joining the GPS constellation.Data source: ULAAres 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GPS 2R-19 launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

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