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Recent advances in lung and breast cancer screening technologies have enabled earlier cancer detection and improved cancer survival rates.

Recent advances in lung and breast cancer screening technologies have enabled earlier cancer detection and improved cancer survival rates. Roni Talukdar, M.D. and Stacy Moulton, M.D. presented new screening guidelines for breast and lung to physicians and prevention advocates at the University of Mary Washington, Jepson Center during the annual Oncology Symposium sponsored by the Mary Washington Healthcare Regional Cancer Center on October 14, 2017. According to their presentations, in addition to providing earlier cancer detection, recent advances in screening technology have also prompted commercial insurance companies and Medicare to improve their screening exam coverage. According to Dr. Talukdar, “When new technologies, like 3D mammography and low-dose lung CT scans are made available, we find smaller cancers much earlier, at stages where multiple treatment options are still available to patients. Other than prevention, the combination of an effective and accessible screening test is the best opportunity we have to find early, more treatable cancers.” 3D mammography and low-dose lung CT scans are new powerful tools in the fight against cancer.

“For low-dose lung CT, also called lung scans, those who can benefit are primarily long-term smokers,” Dr. Moulton observes. Due to recent developments in screening technology, these smokers can refer themselves for a lung scan and get help. “Lung scans offer the best early detection option available, use very low-dose X-rays, and are able to find cancerous tissue long before symptoms appear,” he concludes.

Dr. Moulton shared a study that documents a 20 percent reduction in deaths for high-risk cancer patients who received CT screening versus patients who received chest X-rays. In regard to lung cancer, Dr. Moulton says there is “a multidisciplinary team standing by to respond” following an early detection. He adds, “An effective lung cancer screening exam, overseen and interpreted by board certified, fellowship trained radiologists, in combination with a multidisciplinary, integrated team approach to the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, is providing a real opportunity for individuals to beat lung cancer.”

Dr. Talukdar further presented information about significant changes in early breast cancer detection rates. “Breast tomosynthesis, also called 3D mammography, is an advanced form of breast imaging. It uses a low-dose advanced X-ray system to create 3D images of the breast.” he explains. “Due to the level of detail 3D tomosynthesis provides, it can detect up to 35 percent of cancers sooner. The same level of local integrated care is also available for women for whom a mammogram identifies potential cancer.”

About the Annual Oncology Symposium

The 2017 Oncology Symposium sponsored by Mary Washington Healthcare Regional Cancer Center was designed to educate primary care physicians who are key advocates for cancer screening. Many of these cancer physicians are not aware of the holistic and multidisciplinary resources available in the region. According to Dr. Talukdar, “The most valuable tool we have in the fight against cancer is early detection.” Now, both lung cancer and breast cancer therapy can benefit from new tools and effective collaboration. Both Dr. Talukdar and Dr. Moulton provide services in Virginia at Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg locations (mifimaging.com).

Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg is the largest provider of radiologic and vascular surgery services in the Fredericksburg, Virginia region. RAF serves patients at Mary Washington and Stafford Hospitals, Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg, the Imaging Center for Women, Medical Imaging at Lee’s Hill, and Medical Imaging of North Stafford, as well as at RAF’s interventional radiology practice, Virginia Interventional & Vascular Associates (VIVA) in Fredericksburg and Stafford, Cosmetic Center by VIVA in Fredericksburg, and Virginia Women’s Center in Richmond. For more information, visit rafimaging.com or call (540) 361-1000.