Breast Cancer Screening: Technology or Radiologist


There’s a lot of press about the importance of a 3-D mammogram (breast tomosynthesis) and how much better it is in terms of detecting cancer than the traditional 2-D (standard digital) mammogram.

Here’s a little known secret:

While it is true that there is a difference in the cancer detection rate between the two technologies, what I notice on a daily basis is that the most important consideration for a patient should actually be who interprets their study.

A mammogram is one of the most subjective radiological studies in the field of radiology and there are huge differences in the breast cancer detection rates between radiologists.

I often see breast cancers that were missed (on both 2-D and 3-D mammograms) that would have been detected if a different radiologist had interpreted the study.

Interestingly, most of these statistics are recorded and regularly reported for radiologists. However, they are rarely made public. In part, there is resistance to releasing data such as this because of the potential for misinterpretation by patients and the public in general.

However, today’s patients are increasingly sophisticated and it is my personal opinion that it may be time to bring awareness to this topic.

Ryan Polselli, M.D.

Fellowship Trained, Breast Imaging Radiologist

About Ryan Polselli

Ryan Polselli designed MammoLink® to send a portion of every mammogram back to the community to the charity chosen by each patient. "Our current healthcare system forces patients to jump through an endless number of hoops to take care of themselves. It would be hard to design a more inconsiderate, inconvenient, and inefficient system. The system "bends" patients, often unreasonably, to fit the needs of the system, rather than "bending" to the needs of the patient. It is time that we completely redesign a healthcare system that puts patients first and gives patients complete control so that they can best take care of their health. This is especially true in the field of breast cancer screening and diagnosis." --Ryan Polselli, M.D., Diplomate of the American Board of Radiology, Fellowship Trained Breast Imaging Radiologist, Founder and CEO of MammoLink®
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