The Truth About Breast Cancer
It is estimated that a woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is one in seven.
According to the American Cancer Society, in 2004, over 215,000 new cases of breast cancer will occur in the United States, and over 40,000 women are expected to die from this disease.
Mammography is the most effective method of screening for breast cancer and can lead to early detection, which is the key to higher survival rates, better prognosis, and lower treatment costs.
The Clinical Challenge
Interpreting mammograms is a very challenging job. Normal breast tissue varies widely among women and can even vary for the same woman over time.
The combination of viewing a large number of cases, radiologist fatigue, the complex image structure of the breast on a mammogram and the subtle nature of early signs of the disease can result in false negative readings. In fact, studies show that as many as one third of the undetected cancers are missed as a result of observational oversights, regardless of the experience or expertise of the doctor.
Additionally, the radiologist must balance the need for accurate detection of abnormalities with the need to avoid unnecessary invasive procedures.
The ImageChecker Solution
The ImageChecker system is a computer-aided detection (CAD) system that analyzes medical images using proprietary software that highlights areas that contain features associated with cancer.
The ImageChecker system acts like a spell-checker for medical images, performing over one billion calculations per film. It is designed to assist radiologists in reducing the number of false-negative readings by drawing attention to areas that warrant a second review.
The resulting reduction in observational oversights aids radiologists with earlier detection of breast cancers.
Computer-Aided Detection (CAD)
The ImageChecker system is the first FDA approved CAD system for mammography. This revolutionary technology assists your doctor in the reading of your mammogram, pointing out areas of interest that might otherwise go undetected.
Since its introduction, over 8 million women each year have had their mammograms screened with the aid of the ImageChecker system.
The American Cancer Society recommends that women over the age of 40 have a yearly mammogram. If you are under age 40, talk to your health care provider about whether you should have a mammogram. For more information on mammography and the CAD system used at Regional Health Services of Howard County, please contact your health care provider or the Radiology Department at 563-547-2101.
Medicare and most insurance companies recognize CAD as a covered serve. However, if you are not a Medicare enrollee or your insurance company does not provide coverage for this service, you will be personally responsible for the payment. It is the patients’ responsibility to check with their own insurance plan to see if it covers CPT codes 76082 (diagnostic) and 76083 (screenings).