With more advancements in Radiology and screening technology, there is a growing need for mammograms, especially in younger women.
3-D mammograms are making headway
For years, breast cancer screening has been synonymous with mammograms, but screenings are starting to add another layer to the equation. 3-D mammograms (tomosynthesis) are new tech in screening that have helped improve the quality of breast imaging. Instead of the standard two views of the breast, 3-D mammogram technology show radiologists a view of the breast from many angles, with clearer quality and easier abnormality detection. This is helpful for women with thicker tissue, aka dense breasts, that are harder to examine, putting them at higher risk for cancer. 3-D mammograms can improve breast cancer detection by 40 percent, and behind these screenings: Rad Techs.
Genetics play a part, but not the whole
Risk for breast cancer is measured with testing for mutations in the BRCA genes. Abnormalities in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are associated with breast cancer. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 72 percent of women with a BRCA1 gene mutation and 69 percent of women with a BRCA2 gene mutation will develop breast cancer at some point in their life. And while genetics are an important part of breast cancer risk, the facts show only 5-10 percent of breast cancer diagnoses are related to genetics. Which is why screening is still important to track breast abnormalities, even without mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2.
- All women should be evaluated for breast cancer risk no later than age 30
- All women who are not at risk should begin annual breast cancer screenings starting at age 40
- Breast MRI is recommended for women with a history of breast cancer and dense tissue or those that have been diagnosed by age 50
- Women who have undergone chest radiation therapy should begin screenings at age 25 or 8 years after radiation therapy—whichever is later
- Women with genetics-based increased risk or a calculated lifetime risk of 20% or more should begin annual screenings at age 30
- The revised guidelines for Black women point to an increased risk of being diagnosed with aggressive “triple-negative” breast tumors
“Since 1990, breast cancer death rates dropped 23 percent in African-American women—approximately half that in whites,” said Wendy B. DeMartini, MD, President of the SBI, in the organization’s statement. “We changed our approach to help save more African-American women and others at higher risk from this deadly disease.”
We need more traveling rad techs in the workforce
All of these compounding facts added to the increased ways to screen and prevent breast cancer means more women starting at a younger age need annual mammograms. And because of the demand for more screenings, we need more traveling rad techs to help screen, identify and offer the widest range of treatment options at the earliest sign of detection. Medical imaging has become essential today in diagnosing illnesses. Nearly every health care provider, regardless of specialty, relies on radiology technologists to produce high-quality medical imaging for their patients. Rad techs are vital, with their experience and expertise to create the images and provide the best result for patients. As the need for breast cancer screening increases, more healthcare professionals working in radiology are needed as well. If you’re a rad tech traveler looking for a new assignment, Fusion Marketplace can help you find your next available radiology job.