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Screening for Breast Cancer: A New Approach

Lora Barke, DO

*Radiologist, Radiology Imaging Associates P.C., Englewood, Colorado.
Address correspondence to: Lora Barke, DO, Radiologist, Radiology Imaging Associates P.C., 10700 E Geddes Suite 200, Englewood, CO 80112. E-mail: Lora.Barke@riaco.com.

Disclosure: Dr Barke reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.

ABSTRACT

Breast cancer has a considerable impact on public health in the United States, and early detection through regular screening efforts has been critical in improving long-term outcomes for individuals affected by the disease. For most women, screening recommendations include regular self breast examinations, annual clinical breast examinations, and annual screening mammography examinations beginning at the age of 40 years. For others, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is recommended as an additional screening tool. Effective breast cancer screening is critical to achieve consistent, early disease detection and reduce the need for unnecessary biopsies to distinguish between benign and malignant disease. Radiologic science professionals play an important role in the breast cancer screening process, and are often the only professionals that individuals encounter during their examination. Technologists should therefore have an understanding of current mammography and MRI practices, as well as the use of advanced modalities in screening applications, so that they are in a position to answer questions that arise and put their clients at ease. This article will review standard breast cancer screening modalities, risk factors that require additional screening efforts, and advanced modalities that are under development to improve the quality and utility of breast imaging.

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