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Volpara Objective Breast Density Measurement Key to Successful Ultrasound Implementation

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (PRWEB) June 04, 2013

Optimized workflow enabling women to have ultrasound, or other adjunctive imaging, on the same day as their standard mammograms can play a key role in detecting cancers earlier in women with dense breast tissue, according to users of Volpara volumetric breast density measurement software from Matakina International.

Studies estimate 35-50% of breast cancers are missed by using mammography alone (Boyd, Pisano and Berg), with women with dense breasts disproportionately impacted as cancers are masked by fibroglandular tissue. As a result, nine states have passed laws (Connecticut, Texas, New York, California, Virginia, Hawaii, Maryland, Alabama and Tennessee) mandating that women be notified of their breast density and be offered supplemental imaging. Some 20 other states have legislation pending and the federal Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act of 2011 is also in progress. However, simply sending letters to women after their mammogram asking them to return for further imaging due to increased density has had limited compliance.

“We purchased the Volpara software to give a more objective and consistent calculation of the breast density because it’s a volumetric measurement. Using Volpara allowed us to tell the woman of her breast density at the end of the mammogram and thus to either have an immediate ultrasound exam or to schedule a return appointment for an ultrasound exam before leaving the center. This has been extremely well received by our patients and we experienced a 10 fold increase in the uptake of ultrasounds when it was offered during the same visit. This ensures that women with dense breasts get the supplemental imaging and quality care they deserve,” said Dennis McDonald, MD., Director Women’s Imaging, Sutter Health Sierra-Sacramento Region, Calif.

“Volpara automatically and objectively assesses breast density within seconds of the last mammogram so that clinics can direct women to ultrasound screening in the same visit. This allows a clinic to offer supplementary screening on the same visit, thereby reducing recall rates and the non-medical costs associated with out-patient visits, representing a win-win for the clinic and their patient’s health,” said Ralph Highnam, Ph.D., CEO of Matakina. “Women interviewed about their decision to have the supplementary screening cited the convenience of being able to do it in the same visit as the major contributing factor.”

Dr. John Coscia from Texas Oncology, Amarillo, Texas has recently introduced Volpara into their clinic. “It is critical to have the best technology available to detect breast cancer early, especially for women for whom the mammogram alone may not be enough. We evaluated other density measurement tools, but we adopted Volpara because it has been proven to rapidly provide the objective, volumetric measurement that gives us confidence in the accuracy of the breast density results we give our patients.”

Cleared by the FDA, HealthCanada, the TGA and CE-marked, Volpara is in use at sites across the globe helping radiologists assess breast density more objectively and helping them better consider who might benefit from additional screening. Volpara is a reliable tool which generates objective, automatic measurement of volumetric breast density and an FDA cleared BI-RADS breast density category. Volpara supports most of the major digital mammography systems, can be displayed on digital mammography and PACS workstations and be integrated into mammography reporting systems.

About Sutter Health Sierra Sacramento Region

Sutter Health Sierra Sacramento Region is an affiliate of Sutter Health and covers the greater Sacramento/Sierra region, including Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, Solano, Yuba, and Sutter counties. Sutter Health is one of Northern California's largest non-profit health care networks made up of over two dozen affiliated hospitals and over 5,000 aligned physicians.

About Texas Oncology

Texas Oncology is a pioneer in community-based cancer treatment with more than 300 physicians and 100 sites of service. As the largest independent oncology practice nationwide, it has provided more care to Texans with cancer than any other cancer treatment and cancer care provider. Patients are treated with today's most advanced, effective cancer technologies, therapies, cancer treatments and full-service pharmacies.

About Matakina

Founded to enable radiologists to give women the most accurate information possible regarding their breast health, Matakina International, Limited is the wholly owned sales and marketing arm of Matakina Technology Limited of New Zealand. Volpara’s founders and Board of Directors includes John Hood, PhD, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford, UK; Ralph Highnam, PhD, former CEO of Mirada Solutions, one of the University of Oxford’s most successful spin-outs of recent times and co-author of the seminal book Mammographic Image Analysis; and Professor Sir Michael Brady, a serial entrepreneur who recently retired from the University of Oxford where he was Professor of Information Technology for 25 years.

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Chris K. Joseph

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