Breast Health Awareness Month
October is Breast Health Awareness Month. This means not only identifying risk factors and diagnosis statistics but also recognizing the tools that improve the patient experience, diagnosis, and care. Early detection, better screening, increased awareness, and new treatment options have led to earlier diagnoses and better care for breast cancer patients.
Imaging is a critical part of a patient’s breast cancer diagnosis and care plan. When patients have easy access to their diagnostic images, it helps ease the logistical burden on patients and allows them to focus on treatment.
Providers can prioritize a better patient experience by offering patient portals and tools to allow patients to quickly view and share imaging through the cloud. This gives patients control over their treatment plans and improves their ability to get a second opinion.
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Breast Health Awareness
- 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
- A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
- Age is a significant risk factor for breast cancer diagnosis. 95% of cases occur in women 40+.
- Every 19 seconds, someone in the world receives a breast cancer diagnosis.
- 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
- 85% of breast cancer occurs in women who have no family history.
- A woman’s risk nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative diagnosed (mother, sister, daughter).
Medical Imaging & Improved Patient Experience
- Reduce the Risk – Mammograms can help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer by 30-40% among women ages 40-70.
- Access to Images – Easy access to medical imaging can help ease the logistical burden on patients and allow them to focus on treatment.
- View Images Anywhere – With the tools to view and share their images from the cloud at any time, patients have more agency in their treatment.
- Patient Portals – Women’s health and imaging centers can improve the patient experience by providing access to images through patient portals.
- Many breast cancer patients choose to get second opinions before starting treatment and many insurers actually require it.
- If images cannot be electronically shared then the patient must mail or physically bring the scans to the new doctor’s office.
- The inability to share images is not just an inconvenience but an obstacle to receiving the right care.