3D Mammography Most Effective Technology Available For Breast Cancer Screening

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womanarmupThree-dimensional digital breast tomography, or 3D mammography, is the most effective technology available for early detection of breast cancer, said experts in the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Mammography technology has been rapidly advancing since the 1990s. We have cut breast cancer deaths 30 percent as a result of early detection,” said Dr. Emily Sedgwick, director of breast imaging in the Smith Breast Center at Baylor, which is equipped with 3D mammography equipment. “3D mammography is the latest advance in the field and an option all women should be aware of.”

3D mammography has several advantages over two-dimensional mammography, Sedgwick said.

More accurate cancer detection

While 2D mammography would catch approximately four cancers in 1,000 women, 3D technology catches almost double that, Sedgwick said. “There are fewer false positives and an improved cancer detection rate,” she said.

“One of the biggest issues with 2D mammography is the ‘structure noise’ created by overlapping tissue in the breast,” said Sedgwick. “3D mammography reduces that noise to eliminate overlapping structures.”

She used the example of a view of a loaf of raisin bread. “2D is like looking at the outside of the loaf, it looks like raisin bread but you cannot be exactly sure,” said Sedgwick. “There might actually be walnuts in there, or both. 3D gives you an inside view of the bread so you can tell the difference between what might be a walnut or raisin or in the case of breast cancer, benign or malignant growths.

The result has been a significant improvement in detection of invasive cancers –approximately 40 to 53 percent, Sedgwick said. “For these types of faster growing breast cancers, early detection in critical.”

Additionally, the technology is better at detecting cancer in dense breast tissue.

More images in short period of time

Like 2D mammography, 3D takes images in an arc over the breast in a short duration of time (4 seconds), Sedgwick said. “Fifteen images are taken with 3D versus four in 2D.”

Reduced radiation dose

seniorwoman2While radiation exposure in mammography is not a significant risk, 3D mammography has reduced the radiation exposure rate by approximately 45 percent.

“The amount of radiation exposure endured during a 2D mammogram is equivalent to the amount in an airplane on a cross country flight, so this is not a major concern but we’re able to use less exposure with 3D technology.”

Reduction in the recall rate, or need for additional pictures, is also a factor, Sedgwick said.

“The use of 3D mammography is a win-win-win situation for women,” said Sedgwick.

The technology, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2014, is still new and therefore not all insurance companies are paying for it, Sedgwick said. “Hopefully in the next year more payers will come on board.”

Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield are among the groups currently paying for it.

All women should receive a screening mammogram annually beginning at age 40, Sedgwick said.

Life Insurance Options Available To The Obese

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By Lance Peterson

bellymeasurementsmallBeing obese can lead to many serious health problems, which in turn can make it difficult to find life insurance. Some patients don’t realize the seriousness of obesity and may not understand all the health concerns that are linked to the condition, so they may not understand why they need to look harder for life insurance or are being denied coverage by their insurance carrier. Consider why obesity involves such high risks and how you can find the right life insurance for you, regardless of any health concerns you might have.

Obesity can lead to increased risk of heart attacks and heart disease, because an obese person usually has stores of fat that collect around the internal systems, including the heart and arteries. The heart needs to work harder to push blood to all the extremities when a person is obese, and this puts a great strain on the circulatory system.

Being obese is also linked to severe asthma, which can be serious and even fatal. Those fat stores can collect around the lungs and the body’s own weight can push down on the respiratory system so the patient cannot breathe very easily. Many who are obese also suffer from sleep apnea, which is a cessation of breathing while sleeping. Usually the body wakes up long enough to start breathing again but in some cases, this too can prove fatal. Obesity is also linked to certain forms of cancer and many other serious health concerns.

Because of these risk factors, obese persons usually need to shop for high risk life insurance.

Because of these risk factors, obese persons usually need to shop for high risk life insurance. These are policies that are designed specifically for those who have special risk factors when it comes to their health and longevity. Many top life insurance companies will provide policies for the obese, but with certain terms and conditions. They may pay a bit more for a policy or may have fewer options available to them, but an obese person can still typically find the coverage they need for their final expenses and to care for their family at a price they can afford, if they shop around.

One way to find life insurance if you’re obese is to compare term life insurance quotes. Term insurance means that it must be redeemed within the term of the policy, typically at 20 years or 30 years. This is usually the best choice for those in high risk groups and comparing quotes will allow you to find the company that offers the coverage you want at a price you can afford. Term insurance differs from whole life insurance; a whole life insurance policy is good for as long as the premium is being paid, rather than being limited to a certain term.

Many of the top term life insurance companies will have policies that are specifically written for those with higher risk, such as those over 50, those with diabetes or hypertension, and those who are obese. Because the condition is becoming more and more common, companies are providing the life insurance needs to these patients even if they’re high risk.

If you prefer whole life insurance and are considered obese, your best solution may be to shop around to find the policy that suits you. There are companies that do offer any type of policy you need no matter your health and without a medical exam. You can find the insurance you need even if you are obese or have other medical conditions, so don’t let your health concerns keep you from shopping for the policy that’s right for you.

– My name is Lance Peterson; I am a graduate in Finance from UPenn. I am a banker, whose expertise stretches to areas like loans, investments, hedge funds, insurance and other related fields. I am also the Content Manager for Chooseterm.com. I like keeping myself updated about the global financial scene.