Category Archives: Breast Cancer Imaging Tests

What Women Need to Know About Breast Implants: FDA Backgrounder

Proposed regulations from the federal Food and Drug Administration address problems with breast implants and call for more frequent screening, beginning at 5-6 years after surgery and every 2 years after that, for women with the devices.

Here’s a good backgrounder from the FDA on the issues:

#breastreconstruction #mammography #breastimaging #breastimplants

High-tech bra aims to find breast cancer

Here’s a link about an exciting technology development called the iTbra that aims to compliment or improve on mammography: tiny sensors worn inside a bra for a couple hours each month that can send information to your smart phone. I had a chance yesterday to discuss the importance of breast cancer detection and finding new options at the premiere showing of Detected, a movie about the bra. Cisco, a San Jose technology company, funded the movie. The iTbra is in clinical studies at Ohio State University and abroad. It is NOT available as a product in the U.S.

I talked about breast cancer detection in my talk preceding the movie. It is a topic I have followed since 1992 when I wrote a story for the Detroit Free Press about how 2/3rds of Detroit area mammogram machines flunked state inspections in the first year of a landmark state law, introduced by Rep. Maxine Berman, that went on to be a model for a national mammography quality law. I gave special thanks in my talk to Berman; the Detroit Free Press, which gave me time and support to write about mammography quality through my 22 year career as medical writer, particularly with data help from librarian Victoria Turk; Donna Dauphinais, who inspired the book I wrote on breast cancer surgery and reconstruction options; and Free Press photographer Kathleen Galligan, whose elegant photos and personal story of breast cancer, brought to life the stories I told of women in “Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You,” published last year by Rowman and Littlefield. I am delighted to report that we just heard the book will come out in paperback in December. I will update you about that as well as the iTbra.

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I had the pleasure yesterday of talking about a long-time passion, breast cancer detection, before the premier of a new documentary, Detected, about a

Federal Program Pays for Mammograms, Pap Smears and More for Uninsured, Under-Insured

It’s time to make sure women know there is a vital program for women that pays for mammograms and Pap smears for uninsured women and insured women who can’t afford their co-pays. We have 28.4 million uninsured Americans in US _ some in my own family _ and 31 million more currently under-insured, unable to pay out-of-pocket costs. The numbers are likely to grow. To qualify,
income must fall within 250% of federal poverty level ($29,700 single; $40,500 2-person family).

The program pays for screening and diagnostic mammograms, follow-up breastsurgery biopsies and treatment.

This is a national program. The CDC’s web page has info about where to find a program at:

For details in metro Detroit: 888-242-2702; or email

This state and federally funded program needs to be supported and preserved. And if you can, please share this post widely so others know about this vital program. It’s been here for many years but women surprisingly don’t know about it. #mammography #womenshealth #blackwomen #breastcancer #BreastSurgery

Imaging Test Find Tumors in Women with Dense Breasts, Breast Implants

Molecular breast imaging, or MBI, is an FDA approved test for women who need additional tests, beyond mammography. It requires a very small injection of a commonly used radiotracer that lights up tumors on the test, making them easy to find.

Gamma Medical, which makes the technology, advises this supplemental diagnostic test (not routine; for problems and problematic patients) for:

  • Dense breast tissue (making mammograms difficult to interpret)
  • Suspicious mammographic lesion, abnormality or architectural distortion observed in mammogram
  • Symptomatic (nipple discharge or palpable mass) or high-risk patient* with negative mammogram and/or ultrasound
  • Breast implants or free silicone
  • Patient not able to tolerate an MRI (for example, ferromagnetic surgical implants, severe claustrophobia, or poor renal function)

*family history of breast cancer or confirmed positive gene test (BRCA1 or BRCA2); risk assessment greater than or equal to 20%

For more info:  GAMMAMEDICA.COM

New Breast Imaging Test Helps Find Cancer in Women with Dense Breasts

There is new, approved technology now available for women with so-called dense breasts, common in younger women, when breast tissue is so thick that it appears cloudy on a mammogram. Molecular Breast Imaging, done in addition to a mammogram, injects a radioactive tracer into a woman’s arm vein, which a special camera can pick up that spots tumors. Here’s a link for those who live with this issue:

Finding More Breast Cancers, Earlier:MBI finds an additional 7.7 cancers when added to mammography per 1,000 women screened- ProMedica Breast CareMBI provides 400% Increase in Invasive CDR while reducing 50% of Biopsies in…

Help Available Paying for Breast, Cervical and Colon Screening Tests

It’s been there for years but many women still don’t know there is a federal program to pay for breast, cervical and colon cancer tests for those without insurance OR who can’t afford co-pays for the tests. Spread the word about the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program, BCCCP, available in every state. The Race for the Cure, which will be held Saturday at Chene Park in Detroit, helps raise money for the program here.

A young woman from Canton knew in her 20s that something was wrong with her right breast, but getting the cancer diagnosis wouldn’t be easy.


Financial Help for Breast, Cervical and Colon Cancer Tests

A long-standing national program, still largely unknown, pays for mammograms, Pap smears and colonoscopies for women 40-64 who are uninsured or who can’t afford out-of-pocket insurance expenses to get these tests. This story highlights the program in Ohio. In Detroit, work is underway to boost awareness of the program with a new media campaign. Spread the word of an essential program that has helped millions of women for years. It has a long name: Breast and Cervical Cancer Project, or BCCCP;

Ohio’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Project which provides cancer screenings, diagnostic testing and case management services at no cost to eligible women,…

Mammography, Imperfect Though It Is, Is Best BC Screening Tool

On January 28-29, leading medical organizations and a federal advisory committee will meet to discuss conflicting mammography guidelines causing confusion among women. We promise to follow. Meantime, publicity about mammography’s short-comings makes women wonder if magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound are better. For

now, they aren’t though each has its appropriate use, particularly as a companion to mammography. Here are two links on MRI and ultrasound for those who want more info.

From ASCO on MRI:

Johns Hopkins on ultrasound:,P07764/

Financial Help for Mammograms, Pap Smears for Uninsured, Under-Insured

A national program pays for mammograms and Pap smears for women who have no insurance or who skip medical appointments and tests because their out-of-pocket costs are so high. It’s important to spread the word, in light of new mammography guidelines.  Congress has told health insurers they can NOT change policies on paying for screening mammograms for two years. Let’s hope that does not happen. Here’s a link to reach the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program.; (888) 242-2702