Access to Prior Mammograms May Reduce Unnecessary Call-backs


Access to Prior Mammograms May Reduce Unnecessary Call-backs October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time for people to come together and recognize those women who have fought or are still fighting breast cancer, as well as to increase awareness of steps to take for early detection and prevention.

We recently interviewed Dr. Darlene DaCosta, one of our radiologists who is subspecialty trained in breast imaging, to get her thoughts on a recent article published on entitled Prior Mammogram Access Important as Screening Protocols in Flux, by Kathryn Pearson Peyton.

Dr. DaCosta is in agreement with the author that it is important for radiologists to have visibility to prior mammograms when reviewing the images from a current mammogram screening. She states that "comparison with prior images helps to decrease the likelihood of  unnecessary call backs for additional imaging and/or breast biopsies." She relates mammography to fingerprints in that "every patient has a unique distribution of fibroglandular tissue. Comparison against old mammograms allows radiologists to distinguish between normal fibroglandular breast tissue and breast cancer. Both mammograms can appear similar."

She recommends educating patients on the importance of bringing their prior mammograms with them when they move or decide to go to a new facility for their annual screening. "This initiative by the patient will help decrease unnecessary screening mammogram call backs and can potentially decrease their health care costs."

Click Here to read more about Dr. DaCosta.