Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy in women and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in American women. Although cardiovascular-related deaths significantly outnumber breast cancer deaths, breast cancer is arguably the most feared diagnosis among American women. Great strides have been made to heighten public awareness of breast cancer, with particular emphasis on early detection with mammography. Breast radiologists regularly witness the extreme anxiety that just the thought of being diagnosed with breast cancer can cause a patient. This anxious anticipation is often heightened by a lack of knowledge about what to expect from the process of breast imaging evaluation, which is frustrating for both patient and practitioner and can negatively affect the experience. Physicians often encounter patients who have little or no understanding of the reasoning behind the examination or procedure about to be performed-sometimes even up to the day of their breast cancer surgery. Furthermore, most women who undergo breast evaluations will not be diagnosed with cancer. The incidence of breast cancer is only 125.3 per 100,000 women (or 3-6 in every 1,000 screenings), however, symptoms of benign breast abnormalities are quite common and impact many more lives.
Accurately diagnosing these non-cancerous conditions can alleviate much anxiety, in addition to helping patients towards a correct treatment plan. The Breast Test Book is a straightforward guide to the process of radiologic breast evaluations. Based on the most current scientific research and best standards of clinical practice, it will help debunk myths, shed light on misinformation, and provide clear facts about what women should expect from these screenings. This improved understanding will ultimately allow patients to play more active roles in their own care and, in the event that a diagnosis is made, give them confidence in their treatment.
Connie Jones, MD and Michael N. Linver are both board-certified Radiologists who specialize in Breast Imaging. Dr. Jones is Medical Director of Solis Mammography in Phoenix, Arizona, and Dr. Linver is Clinical Professor of Radiology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque, New Mexico.