That's News

By Steve Barrett
Monday, June 26, 2017

Direct Communication Linked to Higher Screening Rate

When women who are at high risk for breast cancer and have undergone mammography get a letter describing options for further imaging with contrast-enhanced MRI of the breast, they are more apt to return for follow-up screening, according to research published in Health Communication.

The study compared rates when both women and their primary care physicians (PCPs) received such a letter with rates when only the PCPs received a letter. For the former group, the return rate was 14.4 percent among women who had undergone first-time screening; for the latter, it was 9.8 percent among women who had been screened for the first time.

Researchers note that the findings do not prove additional communication caused the higher rate.

The University of Colorado Cancer Center collaborated on the study with the University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Radiology, the Colorado School of Public Health and Invision Sally Jobe Breast Centers.

Advances in C-arms Track Closely with Clinical Needs

Recent Demand for C-arms reflects broader clinical trends and priorities, analysts say.

Fixed C-arms are valued for their utility in procedures such as thrombectomy for stroke, Radiology Today reports, whereas reduced radiation has been a key focus of improvements in mobile C-arms. Ceiling-mounted systems are growing in popularity because of their high flexibility of movement.

“The big buzz in fixed C-arm is faster and more procedure capability, access to the patient, and the ability to have 3-D imaging that can be done fast and used in conjunction with live imaging so you can fuse that together and use it for image guidance,” Bill Newsom of Toshiba America Medical Systems tells Radiology Today.

“Developments [in mobile C-arms] have focused around using less radiation dose and less contrast agent,” Jessica Edge of IHS Markit Technology says in the magazine.

Among other upgrades Edge notes regarding mobile C-arm technology: higher-quality images and enhanced cooling systems.

Enrollment in Radiation Therapy Programs Drops Sharply

Radiation therapy programs experienced a significant drop in enrollment from 2015 to 2016, according to a survey of more than 900 directors of radiation therapy, radiography and nuclear medicine programs.

Conducted by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), the survey found enrollment in these programs fell from nearly 1,600 students in 2015 to slightly fewer than 1,200 in 2016.

In contrast, nuclear medicine and radiography programs saw slight increases in enrollment, according to ASRT.

The organization surveyed the heads of programs found on the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

ASRT plans to compare these findings with the results of a staffing survey it is conducting this year.