Kortrijk, Belgium, 13 June 2014 – As a global enterprise visualization expert, Barco develops products that support better primary diagnoses of medical images. Mammography experts in Finland and The Netherlands, two countries at the forefront of breast cancer detection certification, rely on Barco mammography display systems for breast cancer screening in their countries.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), which celebrates its 66th anniversary this year, breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related deaths for women worldwide. Moreover, factors like increased life expectancy, growing urbanization and Western lifestyles also raise the incidence of breast cancer. Early detection, states WHO, remains the cornerstone to improve breast cancer outcomes and survival. Yet, breast cancer screening is a complex, multidisciplinary specialty that requires highly trained and experienced radiology professionals, as well as advanced digital mammography modalities, software and mammography display systems.
Finland: voluntary certification, hands-on teaching
Finland was the very first country in the world to introduce a nationwide breast cancer screening program governed by law, in 1987. “Legislation is stringent. Digital mammography certification is not compulsory but many radiologists choose to go through certification. Every mammogram has to be read by two radiologists, at least one of whom is certificated,” says Dr. Tarja Rissanen. A radiologist and an expert certified in digital mammography herself, Dr. Rissanen co-organized the most recent certification course of the Finnish Radiologist Association in Seinäjoki, earlier this year. “In 2011, we worked together with digital mammography pioneer Professor László Tabár, who is renowned for his hands-on teaching approach. This year’s course was set up in the same interactive way. The 32 participants had to interpret three sets of mammograms that included 60 cases each. Their conclusions were then reviewed in small groups, together with senior radiologists - all of whom are recognized opinion leaders in digital mammography. For the certification exam itself, the participants had to diagnose 130 studies in three hours.”
Bright images, high precision
Prof. Tabár, to whom Dr. Rissanen refers, is an advocate of Barco’s mammography display systems. In all his courses, he relies on Barco mammography display systems and additional Barco technology, such as the Conference CloneView tool that allows simulating the mammography workstation on a large screen or DICOM projector, e.g. during multidisciplinary meetings such as tumor boards. Just like Prof. Tabár, Dr. Rissanen and her team were happy to join forces with Barco for the 2014 certification course. Barco delivered mammography display systems, including the Mammo Tomosynthesis 5MP, Coronis 5MP, Nio 5MP and Coronis Fusion 10MP, and gave a keynote lecture on the importance of image quality, consistency and Quality Assurance.
Dr. Rissanen: “I work with Barco’s 5MP and 10MP mammography display systems day in day out for my work in breast cancer screening. The images are very bright and the image quality is excellent, even overtime, which ensures the highest precision and provides the diagnostic confidence I need. The contrast, for example, which is vital to spot soft-tissue fibrillar details, is exceptional. Everyone involved in the program praised this level of sharpness and the speed and ease of loading and manipulating the images.”
The Netherlands: compulsory certification, very intensive training
In The Netherlands, Barco is a trusted supplier to the national breast cancer screening program. All mobile screening units are equipped with Barco's 2MP display systems, while radiologists at dedicated screening centers use the Coronis 5MP Mammo. Barco is exceptionally proud that its mammography display systems have been selected in The Netherlands, as the country’s program is considered world-class in breast cancer screening. The Dutch authorities require a rigid, annual inspection of all digital mammography equipment and each radiologist has to go through a certification program, which entails an intensive, eight-day course.
Dr. Petra Bun e/v Sevenstern, a senior radiologist based in Rotterdam, was involved in the certification courses for many years: “Our experience is that the length of clinical radiological breast diagnosis experience is not a substitute for a comprehensive digital mammography screening course. That’s why we really focus on helping our participants sharpen their reading techniques by interpreting images day after day and providing them with expert feedback. On day one of our course, the participants tend to interpret findings in 20 out of the 70 images as suspicious. In just a few days, they get to the normal – desired - level, which is 2 suspicious cases in every 100 or a recall rate of around 2%. Of course, it is important that the circumstances of the training are comparable to that of real screenings. That’s why we let them work with Barco’s 5MP mammography display systems.”
+ 80% of breast screening centers worldwide
Barco’s mammography display systems have been specifically designed to meet the unique requirements of digital breast imaging. Delivering complete and uninterrupted diagnostic confidence and unparalleled image quality, whether in 2D or 3D, they support quick, accurate and confident diagnoses. That's why over 80% of breast screening centers worldwide select Barco mammography display systems. “By helping radiologists acquire the skills to find cancers at their earliest stages and equip them with the best technology to perform their job, we hope to help further reduce mortality rates,” concludes Luc Colle, VP Sales for Healthcare.