– A revolutionary tool in the fight against breast cancer is now being utilized at Takoma Adventist Hospital’s Women’s Imaging Center.
Called “SecondLook,” it is a computer-aided detection (CAD) system that provides an important “second opinion” for breast cancer screenings.
Traditionally, mammograms – or X-rays of the breast – are reviewed by radiologists, who report any significant findings to patients. With this new CAD system, the mammograms are then read again by the computer.
“The computer doesn’t replace the radiologist,” Dr. Raymond Kohne, medical director of Takoma’s Imaging Center, stressed. “It acts as a second set of eyes. It helps detect small lesions, patterns and subtle changes that could be easily overlooked in the early stages of a cancer. Early detection of breast cancer can save lives and pave the way for less costly, less invasive cancer treatment options.”
CAD marks suspicious areas, which Takoma’s radiologists then re-review, he said. “Basically, CAD adds another layer of quality assurance,” Kohne said.
CAD was created using an extensive database of normal and cancer cases. Patients’ mammograms are scanned into the SecondLook system and are analyzed using sophisticated software.
CAD technology can help save lives, Kohne said. “CAD improves early detection rates by as much as 23 percent,” he said. “Studies have shown that the SecondLook system can detect up to 68 percent of actionable missed cancers an average of 15 months earlier than screening mammography alone. That means we can catch the early stages of cancer even earlier than we might have, without the CAD system.”
The Women’s Imaging Center is located on the third floor of the Takoma Medical Office Building. The outpatient center features state-of-the-art digital imaging equipment, stereotactic breast biopsy and ultrasound. For more information, please call 278-1902.