Public forum on breast cancer issues 'call to action'

10/19/05

Olympia, WA, October 24, 2005 – Washington State leaders in government, medicine, public health and the community today joined Governor Christine Gregoire at a public forum on breast cancer trends and emerging technologies. The prevailing theme of the program was "early detection provides patient options" and was convened to address critical issues in breast cancer research, detection and diagnosis. The meeting served as a "call to action" for increased collaboration between the medical, research, legislative and advocacy communities.

Given that Washington State has the highest incidence of breast cancer in the nation, the need for improved detection methods is considerable. Early disease detection remains the single most important factor for survival yet many women are diagnosed at later stages. Underserved populations, in particular, are at higher risk for later stage diagnosis. Moreover, access, affordability and cultural issues impact whether or not many women seek routine breast screenings.

Touching on her own personal experiences as a breast cancer survivor, Governor Gregoire discussed how the state is addressing this critical issue and the role of research and advocacy in shaping current policies. Joining the Governor in this discussion were researchers and physicians from prominent medical and research institutions including, the Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington Medical Center and Richland-based Kadlec Medical Center as well as representatives from the Washington State Department of Health, the Puget Sound Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Gloria Meek-Garlick Foundation.

"We are committed to addressing this critical issue," said Washington Governor, Christine Gregoire. "Our legislative agenda is focused on supporting research, advocacy and emerging technologies to ensure all women can access the best quality care and screening methods available."

New technologies are poised to redefine current standards for early breast cancer detection, especially for women with dense breast tissue, which represents a large percentage of all women. Physician's from Kadlec Medical Center, demonstrated a breakthrough technology, currently involved in a field trial at the facility, that uses an automated ultrasonic transducer and a proprietary holographic detector technology to create a consistent stream of real time images clear enough to capture abnormalities in soft tissue. Revolutionary in its design, this technology shows promise in improving patient workflow and access by removing the requirement for the medical professional to be co-located with the patient. This is accomplished through a built in remote scan component, allowing authorized medical personnel to screen patients from any location via a secure network connection. In addition, these core features allow a single operator to administer multiple patient scans simultaneously from a central location and transmit the data in real time to a designated location.

"We saw a tremendous need in our area for improved imaging and detection methods that were more responsive to the needs of our patients and those of our physicians," said Rand Wortman, President & CEO, Kadlec Medical Center. "Kadlec has proven its commitment to the community by continuing to invest in and explore new technologies, such as holographic ultrasound, that show promise in addressing the issues surrounding breast care."

Emerging technologies represent one essential piece of the overall picture as it relates to breast care and specifically cancer detection and diagnosis. This forum brings to light the important issues facing legislators, researchers and treatment providers committed to improving breast care and health in this state. By convening this diverse group of leaders to address these critical issues, change can be affected to advance detection outcomes for all women in Washington.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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