2 minutes read
Jacqueline Holt | Specially for the USA TODAY Network
Despite advances in health care, statistics for breast cancer in women remain discouraging. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women in the US and the leading cause of cancer death in Hispanic women. African-American women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer — the highest of any racial or ethnic group in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.
Delaware had the 12th highest breast cancer incidence rate in the United States from 2014-2018. It ranked 15th highest in breast cancer deaths in the United States from 2013 to 2017, according to the Delaware Division of Public Health.
We need to improve these stats, and together we can. We can do better for our mothers, grandmothers, daughters, friends, neighbors, and all the patients who make up the fabric of our communities.
Early detection is the best way to reduce the incidence of advanced breast cancer and deaths. When breast cancer is detected at an earlier stage, a patient has significantly better treatment options, better outcomes, and improved survival. When a woman’s breast cancer is caught early – at stage 1 – her five-year survival rate is 99%.
There’s more good news. A new technology is showing promising results in the fight for earlier detection of breast cancer. The use of FDA-cleared artificial intelligence technology has greatly improved our ability to detect cancer earlier during routine mammograms.
The Delaware Imaging Network has implemented a cutting-edge AI called Saige-Dx (powered by DeepHealth) that has been trained on millions of images from different populations — orders of magnitude more than even the most seasoned breast specialist could ever see in a lifetime. Saige-Dx AI helps the radiologist detect subtle cancers.
This technology is a significant advance in our effort to change breast cancer statistics. Women in Delaware now have access to breast care not found even in the nation’s leading educational and research institutions at this time.
We call this advanced AI-powered breast care service Enhanced Breast Cancer Detection. EBCD deploys a comprehensive suite of breast care tools and services that streamline an annual breast cancer screening and increase the ability to detect disease with greater certainty. In addition to a thorough, personalized lifetime breast cancer risk assessment (including breast density considerations) and a dedicated 1-800 hotline routed to breast health professionals, EBCD performs an additional AI review of certain suspicious findings. The goal is earlier and more accurate detection, so women have fewer complications, better treatment options, and better chances of survival.
EBCD is available at the Delaware Imaging Network’s nine imaging locations in Wilmington, Newark, Glasgow, Middletown and Dover.
As a reminder, these advances in healthcare only work if you or your loved ones get an annual mammogram. For more information about breast health and EBCD services, visit https://myebcdmammo.com/.
Jacqueline Holt, MD, FACR, is Medical Director of Women’s Imaging for Delaware Imaging Network, a RadNet affiliate.