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Detecting Breast Cancer – It’s More than a Mammogram

GE Healthcare’s commitment to the breast cancer fight continues to gather recognition as a select group of women congregated to take part in the Working Mother/GE Healthcare Special Congress on “Breast Cancer Risk Factors: Just Knowing Your Family History is Not Enough.”

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The congress gathered key opinion leaders, healthcare professionals, and journalists to educate and discuss the current challenges facing women when it comes to screening for breast cancer and its subsequent treatment.

The congress gathered key opinion leaders, healthcare professionals, and journalists to educate and discuss the current challenges facing women when it comes to screening for breast cancer and its subsequent treatment. With breast cancer rates reaching 1.4 million each year in the U.S, this type of cancer is the 2nd most common overall cancer and the most common for women.*

A subject that generated interest and discussion was the topic of increased breast cancer risks for women with dense breasts. Moderator Carol Evans, President of Working Mother Media, believes women with dense breasts need to ask further questions because detection can be incomplete with regular mammography.

More than one-third of breast cancers in women with dense breasts are not detected on a mammogram.** According to Working Mother Media, a U.S based digital magazine for career-committed mothers, 50% of women have dense breasts; 75% of women in their 30s have dense breasts.

Breast cancer survivor and panelist, Dr. Nancy Cappello is among the 50% of women with dense breasts. She received multiple “normal” mammography reports before being diagnosed and treated for advanced stage breast cancer. Dr. Cappello’s experience made her aware of the screening limitations mammograms have with dense breast tissue.

“We should not have women not knowing about equipment such as Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) and ultrasound as an adjunct to mammography that is critical for their breasts,” she said. As founder of the non-profit organization, Are You Dense, Cappello has spearheaded legislation to expose the secret of dense breast tissue through state, federal and regulatory efforts.

As part of the dialogue, panelists in covered these two topics: “What Are the Critical Factors in Developing Breast Cancer?” and “How Can Innovation Help Physicians Diagnose Better than Ever Before?”

These panel discussions are part of a broader initiative between GE Healthcare and Working Mother in which Working Mother launched a full scale digital campaign featuring SenoBright ads and four stories educating women about alternative breast cancer screening tests (“In the Know” and “Is a Mammogram Enough?”).

“We are a company that is pledging $1 billion dollars over the next 5 years on R&D [Research and Development] programs to expand our suite of advanced technologies and solutions for cancer detection and treatment,” said Hooman Hakami, President & CEO of Detection and Guidance Solutions (DGS), GE Healthcare.

This event is part of a larger Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) campaign in the U.S. to educate women and their loved ones about this diagnostic tool. CESM is advanced technology that may image cancer which could be easily missed on a regular mammogram and ultrasound.

After receiving an intravenous injection of contrast solution, the patient then undergoes a mammogram. The contrast-enhanced mammogram can help clinicians identify and localize lesions and cancers that may not be as visible on a standard mammogram or ultrasound.

Learn more about CESM at www.senobright.com.

 

References

*- Pisano et al. Diagnostic Performance of Digital versus Film Mammography for Breast -Cancer Screening. NEJM 2005;353:1773 / Prevention and the economic burden of breast cancer’, a report commissioned by GE Healthcare, authored by Bengt Samuelsson and Nils Wilking.

** – http://www.workingmother.com/content/mammogram-enough

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