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HOCC first hospital in state to use software that objectively assesses breast density

New Britain [January 06 2014] - The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) is now the first hospital in the state using breast density imaging software to more objectively and consistently assess breast density levels as part of mammogram studies.

HOCC recently installed VolparaDensity™ breast imaging software in each of its six mammography units. The Volpara system uses a computer-generated formula to measure breast tissue density on a scale of 1 as low density to 4 as high density. On a mammogram, both dense tissue and tumors appear white, which can mask tumor identification. Breast density is a breast cancer risk factor.

“Using VolparaDensity removes the subjectivity from evaluation of mammographic density, allowing the radiologists to be consistent in their interpretations every time they read a mammogram,” says Jean Weigert, M.D., FACR, the hospital’s director of Breast Imaging.

Weigert says VolparaDensity software’s value will be appreciated for the more difficult readings, namely breasts that are less fatty or dense, wherein radiologists’ interpretations can vary. “This will allow us to be more accurate in determining that the women who may benefit from additional imaging the most are informed.” This may include ultrasound or MRI, she notes.

Connecticut was the first state to enact a law requiring breast density information be included in mammography reports. “Before the Connecticut density law was enacted most radiologists were not convinced that we should support expanded screening with ultrasound but research has shown that we are finding additional cancers. The ability to more accurately evaluate breast density will improve our ability to screen our patients and hopefully find early cancers that are easier to treat.”

The Volpara grade is corresponded to the current Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS), which rates breast density on a scale of 1 to 4; 4 is the highest. Higher density is associated with greater breast cancer risk. Weigert notes BI-RADS is “very subjective.”

HOCC offers mammograms at its New Britain General and Bradley Memorial campuses, in addition to its New Britain Diagnostic Breast Center at 40 Hart St., and its Newington Diagnostic Center. Volpara software is also at Imaging Center of West Hartford, an HOCC affiliate.

In 2013, HOCC’s comprehensive breast program became the first such program in Connecticut to be recognized as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence in the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers™ (NQMBC) Program. This distinction signifies the hospital’s commitment to providing the highest level of quality health care to patients in its community. The hospital's comprehensive breast program is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. For program information, please visit http://www.thocc.org/services/breast/nurse.aspx.

Contact: Kimberly Gensicki, 860-224-5900 X6507














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