Importance of Breast Imaging: Awareness Isn’t Enough

October 25, 2022

Raising and maintaining awareness about breast cancer is an important mission. To achieve the greater aims of better preventing, diagnosing, and treating breast cancer, promoting awareness must be paired with encouraging action by patients and practitioners.

Today’s Statistics About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide, accounting for about 2.3 million new cases and 685,000 deaths in 2020. It is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States and the leading cause of cancer death among women globally. In the U.S., breast cancer continues to be the second-most common cancer diagnosed among women, second only to skin cancer. 

Below is more information about breast cancer’s profound impact.

  • The American Cancer Society estimates that in the U.S. this year, more than 287,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women, and more than 43,000 women will die from the disease. Breast cancer accounts for about 1 in 8 of all cancer diagnoses worldwide.
  • Some men get breast cancer. They account for about 0.5-1% of cases worldwide.
  • Most cases of breast cancer in the U.S. are found in women who are 45 years old or older. Women under 45 account for about 9% of breast cancers diagnosed.

The Breast Cancer Survival Trend

While the number of women dying from breast cancer is striking, it is important to note that the mortality rate has been declining steadily for the past several decades in the United States. But are we at risk of reversing that trend?

Breast cancer screening dropped dramatically in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic — due to a combination of reduced demand as well as staffing shortages and temporary facility closings. A study published in JAMA Oncology found that the number of breast cancer screenings in the United States during the March through May 2020 time period was 3.9 million less than the number of screenings during the same time frame in 2019. 

Given that screening mammography is considered to be the best method for reducing breast cancer-related deaths through early detection, this drop is extremely concerning. And while breast cancer imaging is expected to expand significantly in the U.S. over the next several years, many experts are concerned that mammography is continuing to be underutilized in 2022. 

Helping to Optimize Breast Cancer Imaging

As more women head back to their radiologist to get a mammogram, we need to maximize efficiency to effectively address pent-up demand. At Intelerad, we have expanded and enhanced our suite of breast imaging solutions – including the recent addition of PenRad Technologies, Inc.’s mammography information system – to help optimize breast cancer screening. 

Our breast imaging solutions benefit radiologists, technologists, administrators, and patients. They enhance exam management and streamline workflows with optimized worklists, improve procedure efficiency with narrative reporting, automate record keeping and follow-up processes, provide instant results, and offer many other ways to improve productivity.

Learn More About Our Breast Imaging Solutions

We look forward to showing you how we can help you help more patients. Please visit our booth at RSNA 2023 to learn more about how we can optimize breast cancer imaging at your practice.