As part of our commitment to women’s health, GE brings together world-class expertise in the biosciences, medical imaging, information technology and workflow enhancements to address major industry challenges at each step of the breast care pathway from screening and diagnosis through monitoring. We call this comprehensive solution, the breast care continuum. With this comprehensive approach to breast care, we aim to enhance the patient experience along each stage of the care pathway.
GE Healthcare will continue its breast care continuum story at ACI's Breast Centers of Excellence Conference at The Hotel Palomar in Chicago, IL March 27, 2014. During the conference, Prahlad Singh, General Manager, Women’s Health, Detection & Guidance Solutions, GEHC will address up to 100 executives from renowned hospitals and health systems on how GEHC’s breast care continuum can help solve industry challenges around screening, diagnosis, staging, treatment & treatment planning & monitoring. “GE Healthcare delivers solutions designed to meet the full spectrum of breast care needs to help physicians tailor care throughout each patient’s unique breast cancer journey. We continue to innovate our portfolio to help clinicians expand care to more women globally to help reduce breast cancer burden,” said Prahlad Singh.
Step 1 - Screening
The first stage of the breast care continuum addresses the screening challenge, or the fear factor that affects compliance. Although early screening saves lives, worry and fear are common reasons why women avoid mammograms. 70% of women in the US ages 40 and above did not meet screening objective rates established by the U.S. Preventive Service Taskforce1. By triggering a woman’s senses - sight, sound and scent during a mammogram, GEHC’s SensorySuite* helps reduce perceived anxiety thereby helping to increase compliance for regular mammography screening.
Mammograms are not effective in detecting cancer in all women, especially women with dense breasts. Dense breast tissue obscures cancer tissue in a traditional mammogram making it virtually impossible to detect cancer in women with dense breasts. As part of the breast care continuum, GE offers Automated Breast Ultrasound or ABUS, a new and specialized technique to enhance the visibility of dense breast tissue in women with dense breasts.
Step 2 - Diagnosis
When it comes to diagnosis, the main challenge is recall rates. 70% of negative biopsy rates are the result of ineffective screening and diagnosis of breast cancer2. To address these diagnostic challenges, GEHC has created SenoBright*, contrast enhanced spectral mammography. SenoBright* offers physicians additional information they may not be able see on a traditional mammogram. MRI is another diagnostic tool that measures the blood flow going to the breast cancer lesions with high sensitivity.
Step 3 Staging
The most critical step of the breast care continuum is staging. Staging helps physicians determine the extent of the disease by measuring how far it has spread and to what degree of invasiveness allowing physicians to determine a treatment plan. GEHC’s offers Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) to help physicians determine the extent of the breast cancer disease albeit multi-centric, multi-focal, or bilateral disease. In addition, GE offers Mammostrat, a highly validated molecular test that helps patients by enabling quick and cost-effective prediction of their breast cancer recurrence risk to help make better informed decisions on an individual patient’s treatment plan.
Step 4 Treatment Monitoring
The final step of the breast care continuum addresses the monitoring challenge using a multi solution approach to address treatment which can be costly and comes with multiple side effects for the patient. When it comes to monitoring, it’s critical for physicians to know early in the process if the treatment is working or not. GEHC’s PET/CT scanners help physicians assess treatment response early.
MBI can detect the lesion size and ultrasound can help characterize the disease and lastly, Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC) testing is a simple blood test to help physicians with results to better understand the status of disease to make appropriate treatment decisions.
“This broad technology portfolio continues to evolve, and enables GEHC to look differently at breast care with a “connect lens” taking into consideration all of the multidisciplinary team’s needs be it general practice, gynecologist, radiologist, pathologist, oncologist and surgeons, to determine innovation that will help health care professionals work together to reach that personalized breast care for every patient,” said Singh.
At GEHC we continue to innovate in a meaningful way across the breast care pathway to help physicians offer comprehensive breast care to more women across the globe with a mission to help reduce the breast cancer burden.
1 “Trends in adherence to recommended cancer screening: the US population and working cancer survivors” frontiers in ONCOLOGY Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention December 27, 2012
2 “Screening for Breast Cancer An Update for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force” U.S. Preventive Service Task Force November 2009
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare (gehealthcare.com) provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.