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Wake Radiology Supports New Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

Industry Leaders Call for Significant Changes to Screening Process

RALEIGH, April 5, 2018 — Wake Radiology, the Triangle’s leading provider of outpatient medical imaging, today announces support for new breast cancer screening guidelines outlined by two leading medical associations. Revised recommendations put forth by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) call for risk assessments beginning at age 30 for all women and detail specific instructions for African American women.

Released earlier this week, the ACR and SBI breast cancer screening guidelines are the “first to recognize that African American women are at high risk for the disease and should be screened as such.” Both organizations say the updated standards could help save more lives.

Highlights from the new guidelines include:

  • All women should have a “risk assessment” at age 30 to determine if they should begin breast cancer screenings at an earlier age.
  • All women, who are not at risk, should begin annual breast cancer screenings starting at age 40.
  • Breast MRI is recommended for women with personal histories of breast cancer and dense tissue or those diagnosed by age 50.
  • African American women should be classified as high-risk patients due to their increased likelihood to die from breast cancer when compared to non-Hispanic white women. The guidelines for African American women point to data that shows an increased risk of having aggressive “triple-negative” breast tumors.

“Since 1990, breast cancer death rates dropped 23 percent in African-American women—approximately half that in whites,” said Wendy B. DeMartini, MD, President of the SBI, in the organization’s statement. “We changed our approach to help save more African-American women and others at higher risk from this deadly disease.”

“We agree with the revised and updated guidelines published by the ACR and SBI earlier this week,” said Danielle Wellman, MD, director of breast imaging at Wake Radiology.  “We believe this will spark important dialogue between women and their primary healthcare provider about their breast health and their risk for breast cancer.”

These guidelines raise awareness that all women, regardless of ethic descent African, Indian, Asian, European, Hispanic, etc. should have annual screening mammograms to help detect and diagnosis breast cancer at its earliest possible stage. This is when the disease is most treatable.

At Wake Radiology, we continue to believe that high quality, annual screening mammograms starting at age 40 remains a woman’s best chance of early detection of breast cancer and saving lives. We also recommend 3D mammogram for all women, regardless of age, ethnicity and breast density. This revolutionary technology offers increased clarity in images, greater accuracy in diagnosis and reduces the number of callbacks which can ease patient anxiety.

We encourage women to know more about breast cancer screenings and offer several resources that provide useful information.

Fortunately, annual screening mammograms, including 3D mammography, are covered by most major insurance carriers in our area. Medicare covers annual screenings and later this spring, the NC Medicaid plan will also cover 3D mammography.

If you have additional questions about these breast cancer guidelines or your breast cancer risk, we encourage all women to talk with their primary healthcare provider. Wake Radiology has offices throughout the Triangle that offer screening mammogram services. Many have early morning, evening and Saturday appointments.

About Wake Radiology

Founded in 1953, Wake Radiology is the Triangle’s leading provider of outpatient medical imaging. Its physicians have been trained as experts in specific imaging specialties – ranging from breast cancer detection and pediatrics to sports medicine and neuroradiology (brain and spine) – to accurately diagnose healthcare issues. Another hallmark of Wake Radiology is its commitment to low-dose imaging and the elimination of unnecessary or duplicate exams. This approach strives to improve patient outcomes and reduces the overall cost of healthcare. Wake Radiology is the region’s largest outpatient imaging practice with nearly 50 radiologists who perform close to 600,000 procedures each year. It has outpatient locations across the Triangle and provides imaging services at several area hospitals. It is the first outpatient imaging provider in the Triangle to earn the American College of Radiology’s prestigious Breast Imaging Center of Excellence designation. Wake Radiology is an independent, locally owned and physician-led practice that actively supports the local community. Learn more at www.wakerad.com.

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