Provista Blog > Everything You Need to Know About Early Breast Cancer Detection
On average, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.1 This makes regular breast cancer screening an important part of routine care but can also create anxiety for many women–especially when a mammogram result is abnormal or unclear. Although breast cancer has come a long way over the past few decades, we are still faced with tough questions around early detection.1. What Technologies Are Currently Used for Screening and Diagnosing Breast Cancer?
While mammography is considered the gold standard for routine breast cancer screening, whole breast ultrasound, tomosynthesis (3D mammography) and breast MRI may also be used to gather additional information for women with abnormal imaging and/or dense breasts.
2. How Are Imaging Results Categorized?
Imaging findings are classified by the American College of Radiology's Breast Imaging-Reporting Data System (BI-RADS®) system for both abnormality and breast density. Patients who receive a BI-RADS 3 assessment are informed their imaging is "probably benign" with a 2 percent probability of breast cancer. Women with a BI-RADS 4 assessment have a "suspicious abnormality" and a 2 to 95 percent probability of breast cancer. In addition, in over half the country women with dense breasts are notified of their density category.
3. What Are Challenges Faced by Both Healthcare Providers and Patients?
Current methods of breast cancer detection do not provide sufficient information, making a healthcare provider's clinical decisions more challenging. For women with abnormal imaging findings or those who have dense breasts, the ability to detect breast cancer at the earliest, most treatable stage can be difficult. Additional methods of detection could help increase the possibility for early detection of breast cancer.
4. What Is the Financial Impact of Missed Diagnoses and Overdiagnoses?
From the patient perspective, breast cancer screenings and especially requests from their healthcare providers to return for further testing are often regarded as burdensome in terms of anxiety, fear, confusion and cost.2 Overdiagnosis, false positives and false negatives contribute to financial burden and significantly impact both patients and the healthcare system as a whole.
With the known limitations of current standard-of-care breast cancer detection, there is a clear need for an additional diagnostic tool to provide valuable insight when a clinical assessment is challenging. Read more about the need for additional tools for early breast cancer detection in our eBook here.
At Provista Diagnostics, our mission is to develop world-class diagnostic tests for indications in breast and gynecologic cancers. As a leading diagnostics company, our aim is to create, produce and market innovative solutions for unmet clinical needs. Our products and services help to diagnose diseases and inform better clinical decisions, thus enhancing women’s health and quality of life. We do this in a responsible and ethical manner with a commitment to excellence in every aspect of our business.