Due to the unexpected snowstorm, we were not able to see anyone yesterday, but today we are back in operation. We will be calling everyone who was scheduled yesterday to reschedule appointments. We apologize for any inconvenience.
We have updated and posted our outcome data. I am very proud of our outcomes. A lot of investment and many years of hard work have gone in to making them excellent.
The screening program is about to start its ninth year. Diagnostic yield for the 2018-2019 screening year is 11.3 cancers per 1,000 women screened, far above the average yield for most imaging centers. This results in a significant reduction in stage at diagnosis for women who are found to have breast cancer. We diagnosed 28% more women with early stage cancers this year than is the norm for the far North State. This is related primarily to the use of ultrasound to diagnose cancers that are not seen on mammogram in women with dense breast tissue. Our screening yield for mammography alone is 7.4 cancers per 1,000 women screened, a very respectable figure. Automated breast ultrasound adds an additional 3.2 cancers, and MRI an additional 0.7 cancers. This gives us a yield that is 53% better than mammographic imaging alone. You can see our screening outcomes for diagnostic yield here. And for stage at diagnosis here.
Cancer treatment was the first service that we offered and remains our core strength. Five-year survival in early stage breast cancers treated here at the clinic remains very high. Five years after diagnosis 96.6% of our clients with early stage cancer are still alive. This compares to 96.8% of women in the population without cancer who are alive after five years.
Our 96.6% five-year survival for early stage breast cancer compares favorably to a five-year survival of 92.1% for women treated elsewhere in the United States. Sadly, only 88.4% of women treated elsewhere in the far North State can expect to be alive after 5 years.
For our clients treated for an advanced stage cancer, our five-year survival is 87.8%. This compares favorably with a five year survival of 79.3% for women treated elsewhere in the far North State. You can appreciate, I’m sure, that women with early stage cancers have better survival. This is why screening is so important. You can see our cancer survival outcomes here.
The American College of Radiology has published a new set of recommendations for screening women for breast cancer. The new recommendations concentrate on women who are at a higher risk of breast cancer. They emphasize the importance of calculating risk using mathematical models, something we have been doing since 2011. The article discusses the use of automated breast ultrasound, MRI, and other imaging techniques in addition to mammographic imaging in women at high risk.
The emphasis of the article is the importance of assessing risk prior to deciding what imaging to perform for screening. You can read the ACR article here or an explanatory news story from health.com discussing the new recommendations here. Enjoy
Beyond Beauty is a new esthetics clinic that has just opened in the Redding area. Ms. Shana McCraken is an oncology-trained esthetician who specializes in the care of women undergoing cancer treatment, including radiation and chemotherapy. This includes skin care, eyebrow and hair care, and nail treatment. You can reach Ms. McCraken at beyondbeauty4you.com
Research performed, in part, here at the clinic has shown that currently accepted guidelines from the NCCN for deciding who should undergo genetic testing are too restrictive and are missing up to half of women who would benefit from this testing. This is a big issue because most insurance carriers insist that NCCN guidelines be strictly followed when deciding who will be covered for genetic testing. See CNN’s coverage of our research at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium here. See the original article published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, here.
The North Valley Breast Clinic has won a competitive research grant award from GE HealthCare to study the cost-efficacy of automated breast ultrasound imaging. This grant will result in two publications in national peer-reviewed journals concerning the cost of treating breast cancer and the costs of adding automated breast ultrasound to mammographic imaging in screening. Thanks to everyone at the clinic for making this possible.
A study published today in Academic Radiology, of research performed here at the Clinic shows that the use of mammography with automated breast ultrasound in breast cancer screening decreases the stage at which breast cancers are diagnosed. Decreasing stage at diagnosis is, of course, the whole point of screening and results in better survival, decreased cost of treatment, and less human suffering. You can read the article here.