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Editor's e-Note
There’s been a lot of buzz about breast density notification laws in the women’s imaging community. In other places, not so much. This month’s E-News Exclusive looks at the need for education about dense breast tissue and its potential ramifications for both patients and physicians.

— Jim Knaub, editor
e-News Exclusive
Dense Breast Education Needed for Physicians and Patients
By Jim Knaub

California is one of 21 states with a breast density notification law, but a new study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR) suggests that nearly half of the state’s primary care physicians are unaware of the law. The online survey of primary care physicians found that 49% of 77 responding physicians had no knowledge of the law 10 months after it was passed.

The study from radiology researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) in December’s JACR is far from definitive, but it suggests that there’s a disconnect between passing a notification law and making people aware of it.

“Awareness among primary care clinicians of the California Breast Density Notification Law is low, and many do not feel comfortable answering breast density–related patient questions,” the authors wrote. “Breast imagers and institutions may need to devote additional time and resources to primary physician education in order for density notification laws to have significant impact on patient care.” Coauthors of the study are Kathleen A. Khong, MD; Jonathan Hargreaves, MD; Shadi Aminololama-Shakeri, MD; and Karen K. Lindfors, MD.

Full story »
Other Imaging News
Screening With Tomosynthesis and Mammography Is Cost-Effective
RSNA reported the findings of a study that found that adding tomosynthesis to mammography for women with dense breasts both improves breast cancer detection and is cost-effective.

Study Finds Brain Abnormalities in Chronic Fatigue Patients
Researchers at Stanford studying MR images found noticeable differences between the brains of people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and healthy people, including a smaller amount of white matter in the brains of those with CFS.

Researchers Use Sensors to Monitor Dangerous Hits on Football Field
In an effort to better understand and prevent concussions, University of Florida health researchers placed sensors in the helmets of the school’s football team to measure the impact of hits, which will then be correlated with MRI tests to determine which hits are likely to cause concussions.

ACR Seeks Revision to Proposed Lung Cancer Screening
Coverage Recommendation

The ACR has formally asked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to update its proposed recommendation for low-dose CT lung cancer screening to include a wider number of candidates not currently eligible for screenings.
In This e-Newsletter
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The use of manual palpation limits physicians’ diagnosis ability to the areas of the body that are accessible by their hands. However, through the use of ultrasound elastography, doctors can now reach farther into the human body to help diagnose a variety of ailments. Read more »

Reducing PET Dose
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Lung Cancer Screening’s Changing Tide
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed coverage of low-dose CT lung cancer screening for certain patients last year. It’s not clear how the expanded screening might unfold in day-to-day use. Read more »
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Worth Repeating
“We don't know quite where we are going, but we do know that Congress and policymakers—regardless of who is in the White House—are going to make it more and more uncomfortable to stay in a fee-for-service, volume-driven payment scheme.”

Cynthia Moran, executive vice president of the ACR and an expert in government relations, economics, and health policy on future difficulties radiologists may face as value-based reimbursement becomes the standard.
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