AuntMinnieEurope.com Women's Imaging Insider

Dear Women's Imaging Insider,

Welcome to the first edition of the women's imaging insider for 2013. An interesting study out of the Netherlands discusses a new use for breast MRI. Breast MRI is often used in women at high risk for breast cancer (BRCA1/2 carriers, for instance), but these researchers demonstrate that looking at vascularity can help spot malignancy, which means breast MRI can be used in a broader spectrum of patients for more than diagnostic follow-up.

Also in our Women's Imaging Digital Community, there is discussion of the inequities in breast cancer screening in the Middle East. In Sudan, for instance, breast cancer screening using mammography is highly challenging -- the country lacks infrastructure, resources, and trained personnel. Consequently, many women only seek help when they are in the advanced stages of the disease. Find out what a team from Sudan and the U.S. did to help.

The situation in Egypt is equally challenging. We learned at the Arab Health conference that in the first five years, a total of 107,193 Egyptian women were screened, and 374 of those with suspected breast cancer were "unreachable." They come for screening, they're diagnosed, and then they refuse or escape treatment options, said Dr. Dorria Saleh El Sayed Salem, a professor of radiology at Cairo University Hospital. Read more here about the situation.

You'll also find in our Women's Imaging Digital Community two stories about mammography's effectiveness. In the first, a leading breast surgeon remains unconvinced that the benefits of mammography screening outweigh the harms. While deaths may be avoided, any benefit will be more than outweighed by deaths due to the long-term adverse effects of treatment, he stated.

In the second, a Danish study found a breast cancer screening program's purported effectiveness could be strongly influenced by the patients selected for screening. The researchers suggest program detection rates should be interpreted with caution as they may be biased by eligibility criteria. Feel free to weigh in on the argument in our Forums.

We'll be covering the 2013 European Congress of Radiology next month, so you won't want to miss any of the exciting news from the meeting.

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