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Patient Experience Seen as Crucial in Breast Cancer Diagnosis Process

There

There has been a major push to encourage women to attend breast screenings and to make these appointments a more positive and empowering one.

Performed

Performed as an adjunct to inconclusive mammography and ultrasound, SenoBright provides physicians with information to help get the answers they need

The

The SensorySuite is an interactive environment designed to encourage better mammography cooperation and compliance. It is designed to help distract her from the perceived discomfort, pain and anxiety of a mammogram.

Breast cancer kills more than half a million people around the world each year, but many of these deaths could be prevented if diagnosed early.

While there has been a major push to encourage women to attend breast screenings the experience for these women suggests there is much more that can be done to make these appointments a more positive and empowering one for those involved.

The patient experience is not thought of as essential to the overall treatment journey in a process that is very much results and outcome-dependent.

Mammography exams can be perceived as uncomfortable, unnerving and intimidating. One-fourth of all women avoid mammograms out of fear.*

“For most patients who’ve never had a mammography they are unaware of what’s involved and attend a screening session with unanswered questions,” said Claire Goodliffe, Oncology Marketing Manager at GE Healthcare. “I can say from my experiences that there is a lot of anxiety experienced by women.”

It’s an area of the patient journey that GE Healthcare has committed significant resources to improving. The SensorySuite is an interactive environment designed to encourage better mammography cooperation and compliance.

SensorySuite is designed to help distract her from the perceived discomfort, pain and anxiety of a mammogram.

“When they attend a screening, we want women to feel well and that their anxiety is reduced.” said Claire Goodliffe. “And that’s where SensorySuite comes in. It touches the women’s senses and sets the ambience of the room where screening takes place.”

GE Healthcare also makes available contrast-enhanced spectral mammography. Performed as an adjunct to inconclusive mammography and ultrasound, SenoBright provides physicians with information to help get the answers they need while helping reducing the time taken for patients to receive results. This can reduce the worry and anxiety normally experienced by women at this stage in the diagnosis process.

Senobright highlights areas of unusual blood flow patterns. The system automatically acquires the spectral data necessary to automatically create two images per view; a standard mammographic image showing tissue density and a contrast-enhanced image in exactly the same position with the background signal subtracted out.

“GE Healthcare has been in the breast care area for a long time and were the original pioneers of mammography,” she added. “Since then we have made great strides in improving the mammography technology, such as the introduction of mobile units that helps to increase the screening coverage that can be offered to women.”

 

References

* – Two distinct groups of non-attenders in an organized mammography screening program, Arja R Aro, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 70: 145-153, 2001.