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Body Imaging News

Never Too Old for a Mammogram?

Posted 10 days ago by

MONDAY, Nov. 28, 2016 – Women who think they're too old to worry about mammograms may want to reconsider the age at which their breast cancer screening years are behind them, a new study suggests. Based on an analysis of nearly 7 million mammograms over a seven-year period, "the benefit continues with increasing age up until 90," said study author Dr. Cindy Lee. She is an assistant professor in residence at the University of California, San Francisco. The question of when to stop having mammograms has been widely debated. In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued new guidelines, saying there wasn't enough evidence to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening mammography in women aged 75 and older. Lee and her colleagues looked at patient age, mammogram results, recall rates for more testing, biopsy referrals and biopsy results. The investigators also looked at ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Body Imaging

Little Gains in Efforts to Boost Outpatient Care

Posted 17 Oct 2016 by

MONDAY, Oct. 17, 2016 – Efforts to improve the quality of care in the United States have had little impact on many aspects of outpatient care, a new, sweeping analysis shows. The researchers examined the quality of office-based care – meaning visits to physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners – between 2002 and 2013. Ongoing deficits in care "pose serious hazards to the health of the American public," the study authors concluded. One in four eligible Americans, for example, failed to receive recommended cancer screening. "That didn't change at all over 10 years and, in fact, got worse in places like mammography and cervical cancer screening," said study author Dr. David Levine. Levine is an internist and research fellow at Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Levine and his team also identified wasteful spending and possible harm due to ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Cancer, Colonoscopy, Cervical Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Body Imaging

Scientists Launch Project to Map Every Cell in Human Body

Posted 14 Oct 2016 by

FRIDAY, Oct. 14, 2016 – A project to describe every cell in the human body would have been unrealistic just a few years ago. But international scientists meeting in London Friday said they believe this vast undertaking is now within reach. Once completed, the "Human Cell Atlas" could revolutionize how diseases are diagnosed and treated, according to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, one of the meeting organizers. As ambitious in scope as the Human Genome Project – which cataloged the first full human DNA sequence – the Human Cell Atlas aims to chart the types and properties of all human cells to build a reference map of the human body, according to researchers involved in the project. "The cell is the key to understanding the biology of health and disease, but we are currently limited in our understanding of how cells differ across each organ, or even how many cell types there are ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging

Another Study Questions Mammography Screening

Posted 13 Oct 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12, 2016 – Mammography screening is much more likely to find insignificant breast tumors than it is to catch potentially life-threatening cancer in its early stages, a new study claims. The study is the latest to question the value of routine mammography screening. But, the new research drew fire from critics who said the study methods were flawed, and they said the findings don't change the current guidelines on breast cancer screening. The study analyzed U.S. government cancer statistics to try to estimate how effective mammography screening has been since it came into widespread use in the 1980s. It concluded that the incidence of large breast tumors (2 centimeters or more) among U.S. women had declined. But, the researchers estimated that trend has been eclipsed by a much larger increase in the number of women diagnosed with small tumors. And most of those tumors ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging

Software Speeds Up Analysis of Breast Cancer Risk: Study

Posted 22 Sep 2016 by

THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 – Software that quickly analyzes mammograms and patient history to determine breast cancer risk could save time and reduce unnecessary biopsies, according to the developers of the technology. The software was used to evaluate mammograms and pathology reports of 500 breast cancer patients. It did so 30 times faster than doctors and with 99 percent accuracy, the Houston Methodist Cancer Center researchers said. Manual review of 50 patient charts took two doctors 50 to 70 hours, while the software reviewed 500 charts in a few hours, saving more than 500 physician hours, according to the study. "Accurate review of this many charts would be practically impossible without [artificial intelligence]," said team co-leader Stephen Wong Wong. He's chair of the department of systems medicine and bioengineering. "This software intelligently reviews millions of records in a ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging

Obamacare Tied to Rise in Mammograms

Posted 20 Sep 2016 by

TUESDAY, Sept. 20, 2016 – The number of Medicare patients getting mammograms increased slightly, but significantly, in the first three years of U.S. health-care reform, according to a new study. The researchers focused on Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which were created as part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. ACOs are groups of health-care providers that agree to accept reimbursements based on quality, not quantity, of care. "The Affordable Care Act encourages experimentation with alternative-payment models," said lead author Dr. Anand Narayan, a clinical epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. "In the value-based model, instead of being paid for doing more tests and procedures, providers get fixed payments tied to measures of whether they doing a good job or not," Narayan explained in a news release from the Radiological Society of North ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging

MRIs Safe During First Months of Pregnancy: Study

Posted 6 Sep 2016 by

TUESDAY, Sept. 6, 2016 – MRI scans in the first trimester of pregnancy do not appear to pose any risk to the fetus, researchers report. They analyzed data from more than 1.4 million births in the Canadian province of Ontario between 2003 and 2015, to compare women who had first-trimester MRIs with those who did not. Their children were followed up to age 4. Having an MRI in the first trimester did not increase the risk of stillbirth, birth defects or death soon after birth, and it did not increase the risk of vision loss, hearing loss or cancer in the first four years of life, the study found. An MRI is believed to be safe for the fetus in the second or third trimesters of pregnancy, but there has been a lack of information about its safety during the first trimester, when the fetus forms its major organs and body structures. "Concern about MRI exposure stems from the concern that the ... Read more

Related support groups: Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Body Imaging, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Study: Trained Experts Can Spot Breast Cancer in 'Blink of an Eye'

Posted 29 Aug 2016 by

MONDAY, Aug. 29, 2016 – Trained radiologists can identify abnormal mammograms in a half-second, a new study says. The experiments by American and British researchers confirm anecdotes about experienced radiologists' ability to quickly determine when a breast X-ray is suspicious. While radiologists would never spend only a half-second to assess a real mammogram, these results suggest there are detectable signs of breast cancer that radiologists notice immediately, the study authors said. "Radiologists can have 'hunches' after a first look at a mammogram. We found that these hunches are based on something real in the images," study senior author Jeremy Wolfe said. "It's really striking that in the blink of an eye, an expert can pick up on something about that mammogram that indicates abnormality." Wolfe heads the Visual Attention Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital and is a ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging, Radiographic Exam

Most Sick, Aging Americans Live Far From In-Home Care

Posted 9 Aug 2016 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 9, 2016 – Most older Americans struggling with chronic illnesses live too far from "in-home" medical care providers to get the help they need to stay in their homes, a new study finds. At least 2 million Medicare beneficiaries are homebound, compared to fewer than 2 million beneficiaries who receive care in nursing homes, the researchers said. Yet, seven times more primary-care providers visited nursing homes than patients at home during the two-year study period. And more than half of Americans live more than 30 miles from a high-volume provider of "home-based medical care," the study also revealed. These services are mostly concentrated in large urban areas. Home-based medical care is a modern twist on the old-fashioned doctor's house call. It involves a team-based approach to managing the care of functionally limited, chronically ill older adults, the researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging, CNS Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Scans Not Worthwhile for Most Thyroid Cancers: Study

Posted 21 Jul 2016 by

THURSDAY, July 21, 2016 – Having scans after treatment does not improve thyroid cancer patients' chances of survival, a new study shows. Researchers from the University of Michigan looked at more than 28,000 patients in the United States who were diagnosed with thyroid cancer between 1998 and 2011. After treatment, 57 percent of the patients had at least one ultrasound, 24 percent had a radioiodine scan and 15 percent had a PET scan to monitor for signs of the return of their cancer. Patients who had scans were more likely to undergo further treatment, such as surgery, radioactive iodine treatment or radiation therapy. However, patients who had scans were as likely to die as those who did not have scans, according to the study. "Over time, we have seen this marked increase in the use of imaging after primary treatment of thyroid cancer, despite the fact that the majority of our ... Read more

Related support groups: Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Tumor, Body Imaging

Wide Variation Seen in 'Dense' Breast Diagnoses

Posted 19 Jul 2016 by

MONDAY, July 18, 2016 – A woman's odds of being told she has "dense" breasts may depend on which radiologist reads her mammogram, a new study finds. The study, which involved centers in four U.S. states, found that radiologists varied widely in how often they defined mammography patients' breasts as dense. Higher breast density is a risk factor for breast cancer, experts note. The range went from 6 percent of patients to nearly 85 percent, the researchers reported. The findings could have implications for the so-called breast density notification laws that have been passed in about half of U.S. states. Under the laws, mammography results must inform women whether their breasts appeared dense on the X-ray. Dense breasts have little fat and a lot of fibrous or glandular tissue, which makes it harder to see tumors. They are also a risk factor for developing breast cancer, the researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Prevention, Body Imaging, Breast Conditions

Doctors Should Bone Up on CT Scan Cancer Risks

Posted 15 Jul 2016 by

FRIDAY, July 15, 2016 – Doctors routinely order CT scans as diagnostic tools. But many are ill-informed about the cancer risks associated with this imaging technology, a new study suggests. Patients who undergo CT scans are exposed to harmful ionizing radiation, which could affect their lifetime risk for developing cancer, Canadian researchers said. "Underestimating radiation dose from a CT scan ... may lead to minimization of the risk estimate when considering a test," said the study's lead investigator, Dr. David Leswick, of the medical imaging department at the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine. For the study, the researchers surveyed doctors, radiologists and imaging technologists about radiation exposure from CT scans. They found the vast majority knew that one abdominal-pelvic CT increases patients' risk for cancer. But many didn't know how the dose compared to ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging, Computed Tomography, Head Imaging

'Liquid Biopsy' May Show Whether Cancer Drugs Are Working

Posted 14 Jul 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, July 13, 2016 – Researchers have developed a blood test that might allow doctors to know quickly whether a cancer drug is working. The technique is in the early stages of testing, and not ready for "prime time," scientists said. But they were also hopeful that the research will help advance the use of so-called liquid biopsies in treating cancer. Doctors have long used invasive biopsy procedures to get tumor samples, study them, then use the information to make treatment decisions or monitor a patient's response to treatment. But those procedures can be uncomfortable and carry some risks, like bleeding and infection, said Dr. Erica Mayer, a breast cancer expert with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Plus, she noted, some tumors are difficult to reach, and some patients are not healthy enough to have an invasive biopsy. So there's been "great interest," Mayer ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Tarceva, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Adriamycin, Doxorubicin, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging, Adriamycin RDF, Adriamycin PFS

Elderly Patients Get Unnecessary End-of-Life Treatments

Posted 27 Jun 2016 by

MONDAY, June 27, 2016 – People dying naturally of old age often receive unnecessary end-of-life medical treatments in hospitals, a new global study finds. The Australian-based research found that one-third of patients with advanced, irreversible chronic conditions were given treatments that didn't necessarily benefit them – including admission to intensive care or chemotherapy – in the last two weeks of their life. The study also revealed that one-quarter of older patients who had Do-Not-Resuscitate orders were still given cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). People with serious conditions were subjected to invasive procedures, unnecessary scans and blood tests, intensive heart monitoring and other treatments that did little to alter their outcomes, sometimes against their wishes, the researchers found. "It is not unusual for family members to refuse to accept the fact that their ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Ischemic Heart Disease, Body Imaging, Infectious Heart Disease

Scans May Spare Some Hodgkin Lymphoma Patients From Chemo

Posted 23 Jun 2016 by

THURSDAY, June 23, 2016 – A certain type of medical scan can be used to help spare some Hodgkin lymphoma patients from the severe side effects of chemotherapy, a new study suggests. Researchers found that PET imaging can identify patients whose Hodgkin lymphoma will likely respond better to treatment, and therefore require less intensive chemotherapy. "The good news is that the majority of people diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma can be cured – in this trial more than 95 percent of patients are alive after three years. But we worry about the long-term side effects from the treatments we use," study leader Peter Johnson, a professor of medical oncology at the University of Southampton in England, said in a university news release. "As we've done in this trial, personalizing treatment based on how well it works is a major development for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma, and sets a new ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Diagnosis and Investigation, Blenoxane, Body Imaging, Bleomycin

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