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Bringing A Breast Cancer Program Up To Its Full Potential

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., with about 1 in 8 women developing it over the course of her lifetime. It has impacted nearly every family, and some families more than once. In 2020 alone, 276,480 American women were diagnosed with breast cancer—15.3% of all new cancer cases. Right now, there are around 3.5 million women living with breast cancer in the U.S.

Fortunately, the survival rates are very high compared to other forms of cancer due to widely available breast cancer screening programs, early detection, and advancements in diagnosis and treatment:

  • 63% are detected when localized to the breast, with a 98.9% 5-yr survival rate.
  • 30% are detected with regional lymph node involvement, with a 86.7% 5-yr survival rate.
  • 6% have metastasized before detection, with a 28.1% 5-yr survival rate.

The overlooked patient population—those with incidental breast findings.

When it comes to incidentally discovered breast findings, the challenge is the same—identifying abnormalities accurately and providing the appropriate treatment as early as possible. But there’s a problem. Only 50% of incidental breast lesions are found in women who are eligible for screening, but were discovered in an imaging report outside of a screening program. The other 50% of incidental breast abnormalities are found in patients not eligible for screening:

  • 20% are found in women younger than 50 years old (before screening)
  • 20% are found in women older than 75 years old (after screening)
  • 10% are found in men

These incidental findings may include primary and secondary malignancies, as well as benign lesions including calcification, fibroadenomas, and lipomas. Even if a finding is determined to be benign, that patient still needs evidence-based follow-up to detect breast cancer early should it develop.

So where do these incidental breast patients go if a breast program is dedicated only to cancer screening?

They join the same program. Or, at least they should be able to, and receive the same follow-up management and patient care than any screening patient receives. But right now, existing breast programs focus on screening and are using traditional software that can only manage those patients. Eon has led the industry in developing incidental identification and management solutions, and is now offering the first breast patient management software that includes incidentally identified breast patients in the same dashboard as screening patients for capture, follow-up and longitudinal tracking.

Eon has the only solution available today for a comprehensive breast program.

Only EPM Breast has technology to identify and capture incidental breast findings. It uses proprietary Computational Linguistics (CL) to identify breast abnormalities—such as a mass, nodule, lesion, or cyst—in any non-breast imaging (mammography, ultrasound or MRI) radiology reports that have a measurement. In addition to findings in the breast tissue and if no other measured breast abnormality is found, CL also identifies enlarged axillary, interpectoral, supraclavicular, or mediastinal lymph nodes.

Using EPM Breast, a program’s staff can use just one dashboard to capture and track both breast screening and incidental breast finding patients. Because the volume of any comprehensive breast program can be overwhelming, the automated functions and advanced technology of EPM Breast will save hundreds of hours of FTE time. And because EPM follows evidence-based guidelines, it ensures that both patient populations are tracked for the follow-up care they need.

The next stage shift in the fight against breast cancer.

Until now, patients with incidental breast findings have been underserved by most breast programs. By adding this patient population, a breast program can become truly comprehensive and significantly improve its reach and follow-up care. EPM Breast makes this next big step in the early identification of breast cancer possible.

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