know our bra size Why shouldn't women understand their breast composition

SILICON VALLEY, Calif., Today, Volpara Health and the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center are joining forces to demystify potentially confusing breast health information with a simple visual way of engaging women with their mammography screening results.


"We send patient letters full of text that can be difficult to understand. Partnering with Volpara will enable us to provide images that speak far more than text can ever do. This communication tool is going to dramatically improve our patients' understanding of breast composition," said Mara Shay, RN Manager of Women's Imaging Services at the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center.

The density of the tissue in a woman's breast is an important indicator not only for her risk of developing breast cancer, but also for the risk of that breast cancer being missed at screening. Volpara Health has pioneered AI software to objectively measure breast composition, building on original research by the company's founders at the University of Oxford. In the U.S., nearly half of all women over 40 have dense breasts. Many U.S. state laws mandate that breast density be reported to women in their exam results, including recommended follow-up options such as additional imaging beyond mammography.

A mammogram is the crucial first step for understanding a woman's breast composition. For years, women have received text-heavy follow-up letters after mammography with potentially critical information buried in the third paragraph. "Millions of women comply with their annual screening, yet they have never seen what their breasts look like in their actual mammogram. The addition of a woman's own images will make it easier to grasp the important concept of breast composition and tissue density, empowering women to better understand their breast health," said Katherine Singson, CEO of Volpara Health. "This use of technology to deliver personalized information will create more effective patient communications."

Breast composition is categorized for all women into only four categories: A, B, C or D. Categories C and D are considered to be significantly dense. "We know our bra size throughout our life. Why shouldn't women understand their breast composition given it's a simple concept, especially if it could save their lives," Singson said.

Leveraging Volpara's mammography reporting system, breast composition measurement and display skills, the Project Thumb feature has the potential to reach over 25% of all screening-age women or approximately 10-million-plus patient mammography letters a year. "Personalized visuals can spark relevant conversations about breast health and what actionable steps women can take to be their own advocates. A picture is worth a thousand words," Singson said. Volpara has deep experience in breast composition measurement and display.

"We are delighted to join Volpara as one of its first Project Thumb partners," Shay said. "It aligns with our mission to provide women of all ages with education for making decisions about their breast health. Women's breast composition is part of the foundation for creating a precision breast health plan."

One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. The data is clear: The sooner breast cancer is detected, the better the outcome for patients and the healthcare system.

The Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is recognized as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. It offers advanced technologies including the latest digital mammography and ultrasound detection, and state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment technologies, to ensure patients the best possible outcome.

Volpara Health, the leader in breast image analysis and density assessment software, will make the Project Thumb feature — which is not intended for diagnostic purposes — available to its customers in 2021. Volpara's AI-technology has been used by more than 13 million women across 39 countries and is installed in more than 2,000 leading facilities worldwide, including top cancer centers in the United States. It has been the density measurement tool of choice for breast cancer research. The Volpara Breast Health Platform is supported by numerous patents, trademarks and regulatory registrations, including FDA clearance and CE marking.

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