House Call: Advancements in Imaging for Women’s Health — Osteoporosis & Breast Cancer
Osteoporosis and breast cancer are two common diseases that affect women, yet fortunately, advancements in screening methods for both health conditions are able to accurately detect the diseases in early stages when they are easier to treat.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, it is estimated that about 50 percent of women and 25 percent of men over 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
Radiologists are using a low dose X-ray method known as a DEXA scan to measure the bone mineral density in the left hip and spine. This method allows physicians to see if the patient has proper bone density for their age, if they are at increased risk for developing osteoporosis (osteopenia) or if they have osteoporosis.
In the field of breast cancer screening, an exciting new technology known as breast tomosynthesis is improving detection rates and decreasing the amount of “false alarms.” This three-dimensional mammography method acquires several images of the breast at different angles, allowing radiologists to examine the scan in “slices” — avoiding overlapping density tissue that often hides or mimics malignancies. The Breast Center of Greensboro Imaging is receiving one of only a handful of breast tomosynthesis machines in the state this week, and will begin using it for patient screening in June.
It is important for women to become educated on osteoporosis, breast cancer and other health conditions that commonly affect females. It is recommended for women to begin getting mammograms at the age 40 and to begin getting screened for osteoporosis at the age of 65, unless they have family history or risk factors for the disease, in which case they may need to begin getting screened earlier. Our community is fortunate as Cone Health has an exceptional network of women’s health specialists and services that offer the latest advancements in treatment options for women throughout the area.
Dr. Beth Brown is a radiologist with the Cone Health Network at The Breast Center of Greensboro Imaging, and a leading expert in breast and body imaging. Dr. Brown is a 1991 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and completed residency training as a an associate chief resident in the Department of Radiology at University of North Carolina Hospitals. Brown completed her fellowship training in Body Imaging at Wake Forest University Medical Center in 1999.