19 Mar

Endometriosis Awareness Month: Endometriosis at a Glance

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, but chances are you weren’t aware! Unlike breast cancer, public awareness of endometriosis is relatively low – yet one out of every ten women of reproductive age is affected by it, and it’s a leading cause of infertility worldwide.

While the disease itself isn’t deadly, complications from endometriosis can be devastating. Approximately 30 to 50 percent of all women who suffer from it become infertile. Additionally, research indicates that ovarian cancer may occur at higher rates in women with endometriosis – though it is not conclusive.

Endometriosis Awareness: Fast Facts

What is Endometriosis ?

Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue (similar to the uterine lining)—grows outside of the uterus on other pelvic organs—leading to inflammation, swelling, and even the creation of scar tissue. The displaced tissue sheds every month during the menstrual cycle. Symptoms generally develop a few years after the onset of menstruation.

Symptoms of Endometriosis
Symptoms of endometriosis include:
– Painful periods
– Painful ovulation
– Painful intercourse
– Long, heavy, painful menstrual periods
– Bleeding between periods
– Painful urination and bowel movements
– Infertility
– Other symptoms: fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea
– No symptoms at all

Endometriosis often goes undiagnosed because symptoms mimic other diseases, or are simply dismissed as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Sometimes there are no signs at all. If you experience any of the above symptoms, or if someone in your family has endometriosis, make sure to talk to your doctor.

Causes of Endometriosis
While there are no known causes of endometriosis, some evidence suggests that it may be hereditary.

Treatment for Endometriosis
While there is no cure for endometriosis, treatments can make the disease manageable, and lessen pain. Treatment options can include pain medications, hormonal medications (such as contraceptives), and/or surgery.

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15 Feb

Breast Biopsy Preference May be Linked to Overestimation of Breast Cancer Risk

According to a recent survey study by Dr. Lars Grimm of Duke University School of Medicine, some women prefer an immediate breast biopsy to follow-up imaging.

The findings suggest that women who believe there’s any chance that they have breast cancer are more comfortable with an immediate biopsy – a preference Dr. Grimm believes may be linked to an overestimation of their breast cancer risk.

Dr. Grimm and his team of researchers examined women’s perceptions of their own breast cancer risk, their threshold for choosing a breast biopsy, and their anxiety levels using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI).

Participants were asked for responses to two hypothetical scenarios:

  • A radiologist recommending short-term follow-up imaging six months after the initial exam
  • A radiologist recommending an immediate breast biopsy, with the acknowledgement that there was a low risk of malignancy

Women with high baseline anxiety levels estimated their breast cancer risk to be 27 percent more than twice the average woman’s risk of 12.4 percent. In the first scenario, participants estimated their risk at 33 percent; and just 46 percent of those women were willing to wait for hypothetical follow-up imaging. However, when an immediate biopsy was recommended, women estimated their risk at 46 percent; and 66 percent said they preferred a breast biopsy if there was any chance at all of breast cancer.

“For a select group of patients, especially those women with high baseline anxiety and a personal history of breast cancer, a recommendation for biopsy instead of short-term follow-up may lead to less regret and more relief,” Dr. Grimm said in an interview with AuntMinnie.Com.

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22 Jan

Is 3D Mammography Really Better Than 2D?

The purported benefits of 3D mammography include everything from higher breast cancer detection rates to lower patient recall rates. But in a hype driven world, is the technology behind digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) really superior to traditional mammography?

Benefits of 3D Mammography

While 2D mammograms produce ‘flat’ images, 3D mammograms can ‘see through’ even dense breast tissue, providing a more detailed look at what’s inside. These 3D images are similar to pages in a book, and allow radiologists to closely examine each layer of breast tissue for abnormalities. In traditional mammograms, breast tissue often overlaps, resulting in hard to read images and higher recall rates.

The false alarms associated with 2D mammography create unnecessary stress and anxiety for patients, and increase healthcare costs.

3D mammography not only reduces recall rates by up to 40 percent, it can also help improve the accuracy of biopsy recommendations.

Current research indicates that tomosynthesis finds more cancers than its 2D counterpart, and may detect breast cancer earlier than traditional mammography as well.

Disadvantages of 3D Mammography

DBT is often combined with digital mammography, potentially increasing radiation exposure. At Bergen Imaging Center we use GE Healthcare’s Senoclaire technology, which uses low dose radiation—similar to the amount in a traditional mammogram.

Probably the biggest drawback associated with 3D mammography is cost. The equipment is more expensive, and it takes longer to interpret images.

That said, preliminary findings presented by researchers from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, during the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, suggest that when diagnosis related costs are taken into account, 3D mammography is more cost efficient than 2D mammography.

Verdict: 3D Mammography Wins

Based on current research, as well as our first-hand experience with 3D mammography at Bergen Imaging Center, the answer is a resounding yes!

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20 Dec

Study: 3D Mammography Better Identifies Smaller Cancer than 2D Mammography

A recent study conducted by Yale researchers, and presented at the RSNA 2017 meeting in Chicago, found that digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), more commonly referred to as 3D mammography, identifies smaller breast cancer than traditional 2D screening mammograms.

While previous research has demonstrated that 3D mammography results in higher breast cancer detection rates and fewer false positives than digital screening mammograms—specific characteristics of cancers identified by the technology are not well understood.

“DBT is a relatively new technique in breast imaging, and available data on screen-detected cancers over several years of consecutive use is limited,” Dr. Maryam Etesami of Yale University School of Medicine and the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven said.

The Study: Digital Mammograms Vs. 3D Mammograms

In the study, Dr. Etesami and her peers set out to identify cancer characteristics found by 3D mammograms. The team examined results from 44,050 screening mammograms completed between 2008 and 2016. More than 28,000 came from mammograms conducted between 2011 and 2016, and contained a combination of 3D mammography and 2D digital mammogram results.

The researchers found that 3D mammography better detected smaller cancers than its digital 2D counterpart, and that DBT had fewer positive axillary lymph nodes as well.

“As we know, axillary lymph node metastasis significantly increases morbidity and mortality of breast cancer,” Etesami said. “Our results show that DBT performs better than 2D mammography alone in what we expect from a screening tool, which is early detection of clinically significant cancers before they spread to axillary lymph nodes.”

The results are significant because once cancer spreads to lymph nodes it is harder to treat, and more deadly. The finding indicates that 3D mammography can improve outcomes for women diagnosed with early breast cancer.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month NJ
06 Nov

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Can I Lower my Risk?

While there are many risk factors for breast cancer that are out of our hands, it’s comforting to know that there are some we can control.

Doesn’t it feel like Breast Cancer Awareness Month flew by? We were just preparing for it, and now it’s in the past. Like time itself, there are many aspects of breast cancer that we still don’t understand and can’t control.

There is no guaranteed way to prevent the disease. That said, research suggests there are many controllable factors that play an important role in breast cancer prevention.

Instead of focusing on the factors we can’t control, let’s channel the positivity and inspiration from Breast Cancer Awareness Month to focus on what we can do to lower our risk of developing breast cancer.

Know Your “Normal” –  Also known as breast self-awareness, it’s important to know what’s normal for your body.  If something feels strange, if you notice a bump, lump, discharge, or anything “off” about your breasts, then schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Practice Self Care  –  Don’t underestimate the importance of self care. Smoking, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol intake – all of these habits are linked to developing breast cancer. By maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and exercising, you can drastically improve your overall quality of life, while lowering your risk.

Mammograms Save Lives  – The latest research suggests that annual mammograms – starting at age 40 – reduce death rates by 40 percent.  By getting regular mammograms you’ll sleep better knowing that you are healthy. And if something doesn’t look right, annual mammograms increase the odds that you’ll catch it early, while it’s still treatable.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month
04 Oct

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: We’ve Come a Long Way

The beginning of breast cancer awareness month was marked with sad news. VEEP actress, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, recently announced that she has breast cancer.

“One in eight women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one,” she shared via Twitter.

“The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union. The bad news is that not all women are so lucky,” she wrote.

While not everyone has access to truly affordable health care (simply having ‘health insurance’ is very different from access to affordable care), the good news is that, at least in the United States, we have access to information. As the saying goes, ‘knowledge is power’ – and thanks to the rise of breast cancer awareness, we know about breast self-awareness, about early signs and symptoms of the disease, what we can do – in part – to prevent it, and about the importance of mammograms.

However, that hasn’t always been the case. While the fight against the devastating illness is far from over, it’s important to acknowledge how far we’ve come.

From Terese Lasser, a breast cancer patient and activist who founded the Reach to Recovery program in the 1950’s; to the development of mammography in the 1960’s; to Betty Ford opening up a national dialogue about breast cancer in the 1970’s after her own diagnoses; to the creation of the Susan G. Komen foundation in the 1980’s; to the birth of the pink ribbon in the 1990’s; and finally, to the rise of the internet in the 2000’s, and social media and the proliferation of breast cancer awareness worldwide in recent years – we’ve come a long way.

Just 25 or 30 years ago, simply saying the word ‘breast’ in public carried a stigma. Now, even NFL players proudly don pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month. If that isn’t progress, I don’t know what is.

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21 Sep

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: It’s Personal

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2017 approaches, it’s time to reflect on your breast health.

For those of us who have suffered through the hell of breast cancer – whether experiencing it firsthand, or supporting a loved one – we know that Breast Cancer Awareness Month is about so more than a pink ribbon.

What Does Breast Cancer Awareness Month Mean to You?

Breast Cancer Awareness Month means different things to different people. For some, it’s about celebrating survival and new life after the long battle with cancer has been won. For others, it’s about remembering and reflecting on the life of a loved one lost to the disease. For others still, it’s more controversial – with skeptics arguing that Breast Cancer Awareness Month is little more than a marketing scheme designed to sell merchandise, and increase profits.

Whatever your beliefs on the topic, it’s important not to get caught up in the controversy. At Bergen Imaging Canter we believe that Breast Cancer Awareness Month is personal: it’s about you, and staying abreast of the latest in breast health. That means making sure you’re up to date on life-saving mammograms, and catching up on our educational breast cancer awareness blog series.

About Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month, observed in October by countries all across the world, helps to spread awareness about the disease, highlights the importance of early detection and treatment, and honors those who died. It has destigmatized cancer in general, shed light on the life-saving role of mammography, and taught us that breast cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence.

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Breast Cancer Screening NJ
08 Sep

How Early Should You Be Screened For Breast Cancer?

Breast Cancer Awareness: How Early Should You Be Screened For Breast Cancer? 

New research suggests that annual mammograms – starting at age 40 – reduce death rates by 40 percent. These findings are significant, and timely, as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October quickly approaches. This article is part of Bergen Imaging Center’s breast cancer awareness educational series.  

For years the debate has raged on among medical professionals: at what age – and how often – should women be screened for breast cancer? According to the American Cancer Society, women should begin getting annual mammograms at age 45, yet the US Preventative Task Force recommends biennial screening mammography for women aged 50 to 74, while the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging says annual screening should start at the age of 40.

A recent study sheds light on the issue, and may finally lead to consensus on breast cancer screening guidelines in the medical community. New research published in CANCER, a peer-reviewed medical journal, suggests that annual mammograms beginning at the age of 40 reduce mortality rates by 40 percent.

The researchers used computer modeling to estimate how many breast cancer deaths may be prevented, based on the aforementioned breast cancer screening guidelines from the American Cancer Society, US Preventative Task Force, and American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging.

They found that annual screening mammograms, beginning at age 40, could reduce breast cancer related deaths by nearly 40 percent, compared with 31 percent and 23 percent for the other protocols.

“Our findings are important and novel because this is the first time the three most widely discussed recommendations for screening mammography have been compared head to head,” said lead author of the study, Dr. Elizabeth Kagan Arleo of Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

“Our research would be put to good use if, because of our findings, women chose to begin annual screening mammography starting at age 40. Over the long term, this would be significant because fewer women would die from breast cancer,” she said.

While we await consensus on breast cancer screening guidelines in the medical industry, this study supports what we’ve known for many years: mammograms save lives. If you’re due for your annual mammogram, call or email Bergen Imaging Center to schedule your appointment today.

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Bergen NJ Top Docs
31 Aug

Christopher L. Petti, M.D., Named to NJ Top Docs

Bergen Imaging Center Medical Director, Christopher L. Petti, M.D., Awarded Prestigious NJ Top Docs Designation

To paraphrase NJ Top Docs, Christopher L. Petti, M.D., is a great physician by choice, not by chance.

Bergen Imaging Center is proud to announce that our very own medical director, Christopher L. Petti, M.D., was recently named a Top Doc by NJ Top Docs, a division of USA Top Docs.

NJ Top Docs is an exclusive healthcare resource that strives to provide patients with access to the best dentists and physicians in the state of New Jersey. They review, approve, and feature only the most respected and qualified healthcare providers in the region.

In order to be accepted, doctors undergo an extensive screening process, and are selected by a team of medical professionals with over forty years of experience.

Dr. Petti is fellowship trained and board certified by the American Board of Radiology. With over 20 years of experience, he is known not only for his exceptional diagnostic abilities, but for his caring and efficient bed side manner.

Additionally, Dr. Petti was recently rated among the area’s top radiologists by a blue ribbon panel of his peers, receiving the prestigious Super Doctors designation for five consecutive years. Super Doctors represents the top five percent of all physicians in the New York metropolitan area.

Bergen Imaging Center is honored to have Dr. Petti on our team; his skill and expertise are the foundation of the specialized care that we provide. His status as both a Super Doctor and NJ Top Doc reflects and strengthens our practice’s commitment to providing the highest-quality care to our patients.

For 30 years, Bergen Imaging Center, located in Englewood, New Jersey, has been at the forefront of women’s imaging. We were the first facility dedicated to mammography in the state, and the first to offer digital mammography in Bergen County, NJ. Our state-of-the-art facility is fully staffed with onsite board certified radiologists and highly specialized staff that truly care about delivering a comfortable and patient-centric experience. Bergen Imaging Center is privately owned, and fully committed to providing unparalleled excellence in women’s imaging services.

Our services include: digital mammography; 3D mammography with GE Healthcare’s Senoclaire 3D Tomosynthesis system; body composition and bone density scans with Prodigy*, GE Healthcare’s bone densitometry and DXA body composition analysis technology; breast ultrasound; breast biopsy; and general ultrasound.

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Breast Cancer Awareness
15 Aug

Breast Cancer Awareness: It’s a Lifestyle  

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime –that’s roughly 12.4 percent of the female population of the United States – yet we only set aside one month of the year dedicated to educating and fundraising for the potentially devastating illness.

At Bergen Imaging Center we believe that breast cancer awareness is more than just a month – it’s a lifestyle. That’s why each article leading up to, and immediately following Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, will focus on breast cancer education.

Breast Cancer Awareness: Know the Facts

If you’re a woman, you’re at risk for developing breast cancer. While it can occur in men, women are 200 times more likely to develop the disease.

Your risk increases with age. Less than five percent of breast cancer diagnoses occur in women under 40. The risk of developing breast cancer increases once a woman hits 40, and is highest in women 70 and older.

Eighty-Five percent of women with breast cancer have no family history of the illness. While some types are thought to be hereditary, most types of breast cancer are caused by mutations in cells acquired over the course of a lifetime. That said, if you have a first-degree relative with the disease, your risk may be higher, and you should let your doctor know.

Diet and lifestyle choices play a major role in breast cancer prevention. Smoking, excessive drinking, poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and stress are all risk factors you can control.

Mammograms save lives. Early detection is the best form of prevention*, so if you’re due for a mammogram, there’s no time like to present to schedule your appointment.

*Early detection is the best prevention from death due to breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, survival rates for women with stage 0 to stage 1 breast cancer is nearly 100 percent.





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