Melinda Taschetta-Millane, Editorial Director
Melinda Taschetta-Millane, Editorial Director
Blog | Melinda Taschetta-Millane, Editorial Director | Breast Imaging | September 18, 2020

A Slow Return to Normalcy in Breast Imaging

Data from breastcancer.org indicates that 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 48,530 cases of noninvasive (in situ) breast cancer will be diagnosed in American women in 2020. Of these cases, more than 42,000 women are expected to die

Getty Images

Data from breastcancer.org indicates that 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 48,530 cases of noninvasive (in situ) breast cancer will be diagnosed in American women in 2020. Of these cases, more than 42,000 women are expected to die. The incidence of death from breast cancer decreased 1.3 percent per year from 2013-2017, with the decline credit being giving to earlier detection through screening. 

But what happens now? When the severity of COVID-19 first started becoming apparent in February, and then the urgency being realized in March, many elective procedures, including most areas of cancer screening, were put on hold to prioritize more critical healthcare needs and help quell the spread of the coronavirus — including breast screening

This issue is addressed by contributing author Susan Harvey, M.D., in the feature “Breast Imaging in the Age of Coronavirus” of this issue. Harvey states, “Devastatingly, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently predicted 10,000 more people in the United States will die in the next decade from breast or colorectal cancer because of delayed screening and treatment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” So, what is the next step to rectify this spiraling trend?

Harvey stresses that now is the time to continue the dialogue with one another to ensure patients nationwide get the quality care that they deserve for their breast health while guaranteeing that they are safe in all other aspects. It also is the time to stress the importance of routine screening to patients. Even though breast imaging facilities have since begun accepting patients for routine mammograms, a recent survey conducted by Hologic found that 27 percent of compliant women plan to either skip or delay their mammogram in 2020.

“It is impossible to overstate the massive impact the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make on the health and well-being of the global population, especially when we consider the potential long-term implications of delayed or cancelled preventive screenings, such as mammograms,” said Pete Valenti, Hologic’s division president, breast and skeletal health solutions. “In response, breast health providers have gone to great lengths to establish protocols to ensure patient safety as women return to screening.”

The unfortunate fact is, the true impact that COVID-19 has had on breast imaging still remains to be seen. 

 

How COVID Has Disrupted Screening Mammography and The Urgency to Resume Screenings:

Breast Imaging in the Age of Coronavirus

VIDEO: The Impact of COVID-19 on Breast Imaging — Interview with Christiane Kuhl, M.D.

Half of Breast Cancer Survivors Had Delays in Care Due to COVID-19

Insight on the Impact of COVID-19 on Medical Imaging

Delay in Breast Cancer Operations Appears Non Life-threatening for Early-stage Disease

Hologic and Sheryl Crow Begin Back to Screening Campaign

Related Content

Radiologists of Leuwiliang General Hospital using Lunit INSIGHT CXR and INFINITT PACS G7

Radiologists of Leuwiliang General Hospital using Lunit INSIGHT CXR and Infinitt PACS G7.

News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | January 27, 2021
January 27, 2021 — Lunit, a South Korean medical...
For years telehealth has danced at the edges of healthcare
Feature | Teleradiology | January 21, 2021 | By Jef Williams
All indications point to 2021 being the year of the return path of this boomerang event that sent us all in a differe
The key trends Clinicians reviewing a COVID-19 patient's lung CT that reveals the severity of COVID-caused pneumonia. The impact of COVID on radiology was a major, over arching trend at  the 2020 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting. Getty Imagesbserved at 2020 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting all focused around COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and the impact it has had on radiology. #RSNA #RSNA20 #RSNA2020

Clinicians reviewing a COVID-19 patient's lung CT that reveals the severity of COVID-caused pneumonia. The impact of COVID on radiology was a major, over arching trend at  the 2020 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting. Getty Images

Feature | RSNA | January 20, 2021 | By Melinda Taschetta-Millane and Dave Fornell
Radiologists have recently taken on the role of activists and are tackling pressing issues in healthcare, including breast density

Getty Images

Feature | Women's Health | January 20, 2021 | By Fazila Seker, Ph.D.
Radiologists — who have long been professionals in the metaphorical and literal back-rooms of healthcare — have recen
An interview with Eric Liederman, M.D., MPH, Director of Medical Informatics for The Permanente Medical Group, in Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Region, on the explosion of telemedicine in the COVID-19 era

Getty Images

Feature | Radiology Business | January 20, 2021 | By Melinda Taschetta-Millane
More complex, longer interventional procedures such as structural heart interventions or this revascularization of a coronary chronic total occlusion (CTO) at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, requires angiography imaging systems that have improved image detail and lower radiation dose. However, purchase of new systems was put on hold by many hospitals in 2020 due to the sudden drop in elective procedures and diversion of resources due to the COVID-19. Photo by Dave Fornell.

More complex, longer interventional procedures such as structural heart interventions or this revascularization of a coronary chronic total occlusion (CTO) at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, requires angiography imaging systems that have improved image detail and lower radiation dose. However, purchase of new systems was put on hold by many hospitals in 2020 due to the sudden drop in elective procedures and diversion of resources due to the COVID-19. Photo by Dave Fornell.

Feature | Angiography | January 19, 2021 | By Bhvita Jani
January 19, 2021 – With the postponement of non-essential elective surgeries and medical procedures in 2020 to conser
Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Image courtesy of  National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH)

News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | January 15, 2021
January 15, 2021 — In one of the first studies to examine the impact of the...
A, Contrast-enhanced axial T1-weighted fat-saturated image from baseline MRI before initiation of neoadjuvant therapy shows irregular mass (arrow) in upper inner right breast corresponding to biopsy-proven carcinoma. B, Contrast-enhanced axial T1-weighted fat-saturated image from follow-up MRI performed 3 months after initiation of neoadjuvant therapy shows decrease in size of right breast cancer (arrow). C, Contrast-enhanced axial T1-weighted fat-saturated image 3 months after initiation of neoadjuvant the

A, Contrast-enhanced axial T1-weighted fat-saturated image from baseline MRI before initiation of neoadjuvant therapy shows irregular mass (arrow) in upper inner right breast corresponding to biopsy-proven carcinoma. B, Contrast-enhanced axial T1-weighted fat-saturated image from follow-up MRI performed 3 months after initiation of neoadjuvant therapy shows decrease in size of right breast cancer (arrow). C, Contrast-enhanced axial T1-weighted fat-saturated image 3 months after initiation of neoadjuvant therapy shows new mass (arrow) in upper outer left breast that was assessed as BI-RADS 4. Pathologic examination from MRI-guided core biopsy of new suspicious mass revealed benign usual ductal hyperplasia. No atypia or malignancy was identified. Image courtesy of American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS), American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR)

News | MRI Breast | January 15, 2021
January 15, 2021 — According to ARRS' ...