"I continue to be impressed by the service and treatment I receive at WRA. The technologists performing my mammograms have always been courteous, friendly and responsive. They guide you through the entire process, provide specific directions and tell you what to expect. They are very reassuring."
- Denise, Bethesda, MD
WRA President Edward Lipsit, MD visits the Hologic 3D Mammography van on Capitol Hill to help meet with members of Congress and bring awareness to this breakthrough technology in breast cancer detection.
September 26, 2012
Doctors Urge Annual Mammograms Starting At 40
July 25, 2011
WRA Now Offers Online Payment Option
May 23, 2011
New Guidelines Announced for Osteoporosis Screening
January 17, 2011
Park Potomac Location Now Open
July 21, 2010
Welcome News About CT, MRI, PET Coverage For Cigna Members
March 22, 2010
President Obama & Medical Team
Opt For Virtual Colonoscopy – As part of his annual physical
in late February, President Obama was screened for colon cancer using
3D Virtual Colonoscopy.
Read more about President Obama’s check-up
Learn more about Washinton Radiology Virtual Colonoscopy services
March 1, 2010
At the request of the American College Of Radiology, Mark Klein, MD, radiologist at Washington Radiology Associates, is in New York for a live interview on Virtual Colonoscopy with FOX News Online in the STRATEGY ROOM. Watch Now.
July 27, 2009
Kirsten Hanson, MD, radiologist at Washington Radiology Associates, discusses osteoporosis in men on TV News Channel 7. Watch Now.
June 30, 2009
Kirsten Hanson, MD, radiologist at Washington Radiology Associates, talks about osteoporosis on the "Watch News Channel 8 Live!" with anchor Dave Lucas. Watch Now.
May 20, 2009
Osteoporosis Detection Prescribed for Men Too
April 6, 2009
Mark Klein, MD, radiologist at Washington Radiology Associates, discusses Virtual Colonoscopy screening for colorectal cancer with "Watch News Channel 8 Live!" anchor Dave Lucas on the mid-day show. Watch Now.
January 12, 2009
8 Steps for Navigating Your Way to Breast Health
January 6, 2009
Peter Dunner, MD, radiologist at Washington Radiology Associates, discusses breast health with "Watch News Channel 8 Live!" anchor Dave Lucas on the mid-day show. Watch Now.
January 6, 2009
WRA Donates Funds to Breast Cancer Care Foundation
November 24, 2008
WRA Donates Diagnostic Services to Needy Patients
November 15, 2008
Radiologist Joins Regional Diagnostic Imaging Practice
September 5, 2008
Centralized Scheduling Hours Extended
August 25, 2008
ACR Selects Breast Imaging Scientist
June 22, 2007
WRA Offers Digital Mammography Practice-Wide
July 8, 2006
Washington, DC (May 11, 2016) —Washington Radiology Associates (WRA), a leading provider of diagnostic imaging services in the metro D.C. area for more than 65 years, has announced a strategic partnership with Texas-based Solis Mammography. This new affiliation brings together the technology, capital, and knowledge resources of two healthcare industry leaders, both focused on delivering exceptional patient care and peace of mind in diagnostic imaging.
According to WRA President Ian Lande, MD, this partnership provides a foundation for future growth and expansion of WRA throughout the region. WRA will retain its name and the WRA physicians and staff will continue providing full-service diagnostic imaging care across their six clinical locations in D.C., Northern Virginia and Montgomery County in Maryland.
Solis Mammography is the nation’s largest independent network of breast screening and diagnostic centers serving major markets in Texas, Arizona, Ohio, and North Carolina. Dedicated to breast imaging for more than 30 years, Solis identified WRA as a potential partner to further implement its vision for patient-centric breast care and to gain entry in the East Coast marketplace.
Solis Mammography CEO James Polfreman says the two companies were introduced in 2014 during research for a Journal of the American Medical Association research paper on 3D mammography (breast tomosynthesis). “Solis and WRA share a common approach to patient care through exceptional service and highly engaged leadership, and we are excited about the benefits our joining together will bring to the metro D.C. community,” said Polfreman. He added, “We expect a smooth transition, and it is our intention to support WRA in building upon their already strong reputation in the D.C. market.”
Although the partnership transition will occur largely behind the scenes, WRA patients will see new and improved practice features including online scheduling, tablet registration, improved compliance reporting, tablet exit surveys, and patient communications via text and email, including screening results. WRA will also be able to expand its research activities by gaining access to Solis’ industry-leading clinical database of key metrics and trends in cancer diagnoses.
About Solis Mammography
Solis Mammography is a specialized healthcare provider focused on providing women an exceptional mammography experience. Headquartered in Addison, Texas, Solis operates 30 centers in five major markets – North Texas, Houston, Texas, Phoenix, Arizona, Columbus, Ohio and Greensboro, North Carolina. The company operates both wholly owned centers and multiple successful joint ventures with hospital partners. Solis provides a complete range of highly specialized breast health services including screening and diagnostic mammography (2D and 3D), computer-aided detection, breast ultrasound, stereotactic biopsy and ultrasound-guided biopsy. For more information, visit www.SolisMammo.com, like them on Facebook, follow them on Pinterest and Twitter, or subscribe to their YouTube channel.
About Washington Radiology Associates
Washington Radiology Associates has provided comprehensive outpatient diagnostic imaging services in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area since 1948. The practice includes 27 physicians, a staff of more than 200 employees, and six state-of-the art multi-modality clinical offices located throughout D.C., Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland. WRA radiologists are board-certified by the American Board of Radiology, and have additional subspecialty fellowship training in areas such as breast imaging, ultrasound, women’s imaging, neuroradiology and musculoskeletal imaging. As an area leader in medical imaging, WRA has been the first to offer many new technological advances, including 3D mammography for women, increasing invasive breast cancer detection by 42%. For more information, visit www.washingtonradiology.com.
Washington, DC (June 24, 2014) — 3D Mammography finds significantly more invasive cancers and reduces unnecessary recalls, according to two large, retrospective studies published in The American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) and The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The studies feature data from Washington Radiology Associates, PC (WRA) collected from its six clinical offices in the District, Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Potomassc, Fairfax and Sterling.
The studies focused on the impact of 3D mammography and demonstrate the following key findings:
|AJR Key Findings:||JAMA Key Findings:|
"These studies confirm and expand upon what we already know: 3D mammography finds more of the invasive, harmful breast cancers, and saves many women the unnecessary anxiety and costs of a return for additional imaging for what turns out to be a false alarm," said Julianne Greenberg, MD. "The results from the multi-center JAMA study reinforce our own scientific findings from WRA that were recently published in the AJR. Together, the results from these two studies are powerful indicators for the positive impact of 3D mammography on population-based breast cancer screening.” She added, “We are proud to be part of these landmark scientific studies."
In October 2011, WRA was the first to bring 3D mammography to women in DC, Maryland and northern Virginia and has offered this new technology at its six clinical offices since February 2012. WRA physicians have performed approximately 115,000 3D mammograms to date. The practice was the first in the area to install low-dose 3D mammography technology, and will be the first to offer the benefits of low-dose 3D with computer-aided detection (CAD) later this year.These studies were published in advance of print on the AJR and JAMA websites.
February 14, 2012 –Washington Radiology Associates (WRA) is the first imaging center in the metro DC area to offer breast tomosynthesis, a breakthrough technology in the diagnosis of breast cancer. Breast tomosynthesis produces 3D mammography images, which help radiologists more clearly identify and characterize individual breast structures, allowing for earlier and more accurate diagnosis.
Conventional mammography is two-dimensional and may not detect small cancers that are hidden by overlapping tissue. During a breast tomosynthesis exam, multiple, low-dose images of the breast are acquired at different angles. These images are then used to build a series of one-millimeter-thick slices into a 3D reconstruction of the breast. Because the problem of overlapping tissue is all but eliminated, breast tomosynthesis can make a tumor more visible and easier for a radiologist to see. While tomosynthesis is useful for all breast types, the multi-slice technology is particularly beneficial in imaging dense breasts where overlapping structures make reading the images difficult.
“Tomosynthesis provides a 3D image, which can better visualize an area that looked questionable on a traditional 2D mammogram,” says Edward R. Lipsit, MD, dedicated breast imager and President of WRA. “This leads to fewer callbacks and less anxiety for our patients. We are pleased to offer this cutting-edge technology at WRA."
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Statistics indicate that one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her lifetime. The stage at which breast cancer is detected influences a woman’s chance of survival. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 97 percent.
Tomosynthesis technology is available at all WRA clinical offices including Potomac, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, DC, Fairfax and Sterling. WRA’s decision to convert all of their mammography equipment to the new technology makes WRA the largest provider of tomosynthesis technology in the world according to Hologic, the equipment manufacturer.
Washington Radiology Associates, PC is a physician-owned radiology practice and provider of comprehensive outpatient imaging services since 1948. With six clinical offices located in DC, Suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia, WRA is staffed by 26 board-certified and fellowship trained sub-specialty radiologists. To learn more about tomosynthesis at WRA, visit www.wrapc.com.
July 25, 2011 – Due to the high incidence of breast cancer in the US and the potential to reduce deaths from it when caught early, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued new breast cancer screening guidelines that recommend mammography screening be offered annually to women beginning at age 40. Read more from the College.
May 23, 2011 – Washington Radiology Associates now offers an online bill payment service. This secure patient portal provides easy and safe access to personal billing data. Patients can choose to store credit card information on file for future payments. WRA accepts debit cards, as well as MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover credit cards. To make an online payment, please click Make Payment. For billing and insurance questions, please call WRA’s billing department Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM at 703-641-9133 extension 1102, or contact us by email.
A panel of experts from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) has expanded their guidelines for osteoporosis screening, recommending for the first time that women of any age be screened for osteoporosis if they have a 9.3% or greater risk that they could experience a fracture within the next 10 years.
The previous guidelines date back to 2002 when the USPSTF recommended that women age 65 or older be screened for osteoporosis, and women ages 60-64 undergo screening only if other factors put them at increased risk.
The USPSTF recommended guidelines were released in February and apply to anyone, regardless of age, who meets the risk assessment criteria using a FRAX (Fracture Risk Assessment) tool. Based on the FRAX tool, a 65-year-old white woman with no other risk factors has a 9.3% ten-year risk for any osteoporotic fracture. The FRAX tool also predicts 10-year fracture risks for black, Asian, and Hispanic women in the U.S. In general, estimated fracture risks in nonwhite women are lower than those for white women of the same age. Risk factors for osteoporosis include advanced age, low body weight, tobacco and alcohol use, as well as having a parent with an osteoporotic fracture.
The panel maintained its recommendation that all women age 65 and over should get bone density testing, no matter what their risk level is. The group made no recommendations for osteoporosis screening in men, citing a lack of evidence of either benefit or harm.
FRAX is a free web-based tool that was developed by the World Health Organization. Physicians can go online and calculate individual risk to determine if a patient's 10-year risk level is 9.3% or greater. Individuals who meet or exceed the risk range should be screened using DXA of the hip and lumbar spine. The FRAX tool relies on clinical information, such as age, body mass index (BMI), parental fracture history, tobacco and alcohol use to estimate future fracture risk. The FRAX tool includes questions about previous DXA results but does not require this information.
WRA offers DXA screening at our clinical offices in Washington DC, Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Potomac, Fairfax and Sterling. Since this recommendation is new, health plans and insurers have until January 2012 to provide coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Until then, patients under age 65 may be responsible for the cost of the exam. For patients who do not have insurance or who are paying for their DXA study out-of-pocket, WRA will provide a special courtesy rate of $136 until payer compliance is required, starting next year. We encourage all patients to check with their insurance company to confirm their coverage.
For more information, please call WRA scheduling at 703-280-9800.
July 30, 2010 – In November, 2009, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued new guidelines on screening mammography. Much confusion and controversy have resulted from the release of their recommendations. The USPSTF consists of sixteen appointed members, mostly primary care physicians or public health epidemiologists and researchers. Not one breast cancer expert is on the panel.
In the July 2010 issue of Radiology — one of the preeminent journals in the field of medical imaging — Dr. Daniel B. Kopans, Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, wrote a lengthy article addressing these newly formulated guidelines. Dr. Kopans, a highly-regarded world expert in breast cancer and mammography, reviewed all of the data generated by hundreds of articles over the past twenty years that have evaluated the benefit of screening mammography. Below is a summary of Dr. Kopan’s analysis:
-- In the US, the death rate from breast cancer, which had been unchanged for the previous fifty years, dropped dramatically approximately ten years after the onset of mammographic screening in the 1980’s. This benefit increased as the number of women undergoing screening rose. We have witnessed a 30-40% decrease in mortality from breast cancer primarily because of the introduction and proliferation of mammography. While improvements in treatment have also occurred during this time period, the majority of the mortality reduction has been achieved from the early detection of breast cancer provided by annual mammography.
-- Rigorous review of published studies shows that women between the ages of 40 and 49 also benefit from mammography screening. Most of the studies utilized broad age groups to analyze the data—women aged 40-49 and those 50 and above. Dr. Kopans points out that this type of artificial grouping leads to erroneous conclusions. He states that not only does a close evaluation of the data confirm that mammography is just as beneficial for women under age 50 as those older, but there is no biological reason to assume that there should be any difference between these groups. In fact, 40% of the years of life lost to breast cancer are in women between the ages of 40 and 49.
-- Most breast cancers—over three-quarters—occur in women at no increased risk of developing breast cancer. In other words, if we only screened women with elevated risk factors for breast cancer we would miss at least 70% of the cancers.
-- The USPSTF admits that if we screened women with mammography every two years instead of every year, we would lose 19% of the benefit of screening. Why would they make such a recommendation? Because they believed that women experience unnecessary anxiety from those indeterminate screening mammograms that require additional imaging or that lead to biopsies that prove to be benign. As has been pointed out by many women’s groups and breast cancer advocacy groups, women don’t die from anxiety or breast biopsies: women die from undetected breast cancer. If given the choice, the overwhelming majority of women would prefer the additional decrease in breast cancer mortality that annual screening provides.
Below is the conclusion from Dr. Kopans’ article, which elegantly sums up the facts on this issue.
Mammographic screening has been shown in the most rigorous scientific studies to significantly decrease breast cancer deaths for women aged 40–74 years. When introduced into the general population, the death rate has been dramatically decreased for U.S. women, and direct data show that most of the decrease in deaths is due to mammographic screening. The USPSTF guidelines ignore many of the scientific facts. Their implementation will severely reduce the benefit that has been achieved over the past 20 years, will increase the death rate in the United States, and will set back women’s breast health to the 1950s.
The physicians of WRA have personally witnessed the benefit that annual screening mammography has provided our patients over the past thirty years. We strongly agree with Dr. Kopans and others, including the American Cancer Society and the US Department of Health and Human Services—which has issued new guidelines requiring private insurers to cover annual screening mammography beginning at age 40—that annual mammographic screening beginning at age 40 for average-risk women offers the best opportunity to prevent unnecessary deaths from breast cancer.
July 21, 2010 – Washington Radiology is pleased to announce the opening of our new clinical office in Potomac, Maryland located in the new Park Potomac complex just off Montrose Road West at I-270. This new state-of-the art medical imaging facility offers a full range of advanced diagnostic services including:
Park Potomac extends WRA’s coverage into Montgomery County and complements our nearby locations in Chevy Chase and Bethesda, as well as Washington DC, Fairfax and Sterling Virginia. This new storefront site in Potomac is an exciting location to open our seventh office. It is right next to specialty fashion/home boutiques, restaurants, and the new Harris Teeter grocery store. The convenience of nearby shopping simplifies busy schedules and makes it easier than ever for patients to access quality medical imaging care. With quick ramp access to I-270 and only minutes from the Beltway, WRA Park Potomac is on-the-way no matter where you live, work or travel along the I-270 corridor.
WRA Park Potomac offers a dedicated Comprehensive Breast Center with complete breast cancer screening and diagnostic services. Our compassionate and experienced breast center staff and medical professionals will support and guide you as soon as you step through our doors for a mammogram. If you need more than an annual mammogram, you can be assured that our team will be on your side to help with every step in your diagnostic evaluation. Our breast center offers:
Same-day mammography appointments are available and 1-hour free parking all make your visit to WRA convenient and easy. To schedule an appointment at the new Park Potomac office, please call 703-280-9800. For directions and services provided by WRA Park Potomac, please click here.
March 24, 2010 – Recent articles in healthcare journals and the press have raised important questions about radiation exposure from medical imaging studies. Washington Radiology supports efforts by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) to promote informed clinical decision-making, the safe use of medical imaging equipment, and increased patient awareness about radiation as it relates to diagnosing and treating disease.
As fully-accredited diagnostic imaging facilities, WRA strongly advocate legislative recommendations by the FDA and ACR that would require ALL providers to meet minimum standards for radiology and technology. Accreditation means each facility would meet basic education and training standards, imaging equipment would be regularly surveyed by a medical physicist to ensure that it is functioning properly and radiation dose is not excessive, and that the technologists administering the test are appropriately certified.
At WRA we have embraced the 'as low as reasonably achievable' program (ALARA) which limits the use of radiation by certified technologists to the lowest amount necessary to obtain optimal images. WRA follows the ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards criteria and we are doing our part to educate referring physicians on the most appropriate imaging exams for given clinical indications.
There are considerable benefits in diagnosing disease using CT, nuclear medicine and fluoroscopy imaging because it can lead to early treatment and improved outcomes. In any medical test or procedure, the risk of not performing the exam should be carefully considered against the benefit resulting from the exam.
Your health and safety are important to us. For more information about imaging and radiation safety, please visit the ACR patient education website www.radiologyinfo.org or contact any of our clinical offices and ask to speak with a manager.
March 22, 2010 – Effective April 1, Cigna members who need CT, MRI and PET studies will be able to use WRA as an in-network provider. This change in status has occurred after months of discussions with Cigna. During this time, WRA received calls of support from many patients asking when WRA would once again be a preferred option in the Cigna network for these advanced imaging studies. "We are pleased to have resolved our contractual issues with Cigna for CT, MRI and PET," says Patrick Waring, Administrator for WRA. "We are delighted to continue serving the Cigna member population, while maintaining a standard of care that supports our commitment to quality medical imaging," he added. WRA's agreement with Cigna for mammography, ultrasound, DEXA, x-ray, fluoroscopy, HSG, and nuclear medicine exams was never affected by this change. WRA always has and continues to provide these services for Cigna members.
January 12, 2010 – Washington Radiology Associates, P.C. (WRA) has become the first private practice in the Washington, DC metropolitan area to earn the designation of Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR) for all of its breast imaging centers. WRA has 5 breast imaging centers throughout the region located in Fairfax, Virginia; Sterling, Virginia; Bethesda, Maryland, Chevy Chase, Maryland and Washington, DC.
By awarding facilities the status of a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, the ACR recognizes breast imaging centers that have earned accreditation in all of the College's voluntary, breast-imaging accreditation programs and modules, in addition to the mandatory Mammography Accreditation Program.
"We are very proud that all five of our WRA breast centers have been designated as Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence," said Julianne S. Greenberg, MD and Director of Mammography Services at WRA. She added, "Patients can be assured that they will receive the highest level of comprehensive breast health care at all of our locations."
The breast imaging services at WRA centers are fully accredited in mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, breast ultrasound and ultrasound-guided breast biopsy. Peer-review evaluations, conducted in each breast imaging modality by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field, have determined that each of WRA's facilities has achieved high practice standards in image quality, personnel qualifications, facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs.
The ACR, headquartered in Reston, Va., is a national organization serving more than 32,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs for focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology, as well as the delivery of comprehensive health care services.
January 11, 2010 – The new recommendations from the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) on breast cancer screening, published in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR), state that breast cancer screening should begin at age 40 and earlier in high-risk patients. The recommendations also suggest appropriate utilization of medical imaging modalities such as mammography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound for breast cancer screening.
November 20, 2009 – The recently published USPSTF recommendations have caused confusion and raised questions in the medical community and the public at large. We do not agree with the conclusions reached by the taskforce and will continue to support the currently recommended guidelines established by the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, the Society of Breast Imaging and others. Here is why:
We know mammography saves lives. Decades of research have proven this unequivocally. Quality screening mammography and expert interpretation have been proven to reduce breast cancer mortality. Early detection through screening mammography and the opportunity for early treatment often results in a better outcome and helps preserve the quality of a woman'’s life. Suggesting that women should not receive screening mammograms in their forties eliminates the option for early detection. Even the taskforce acknowledges that under their new guidelines breast cancer mortality will increase.
Contrary to the taskforce opinion, we believe that the benefit of lives saved far outweighs the potential discomfort and anxiety that some women experience during annual mammography. It is surprising to note that the tremendous emotional and financial cost of late-stage breast cancer was not even evaluated or acknowledged by the USPSTF. In addition, the USPSTF recommendation to screen only high risk women annually ignores the fact at least 75% of all diagnosed breast cancers occur in women who are not designated as high risk.
WRA continues to recommend screening mammography according to currently established guidelines since it is impossible to precisely predict who will benefit from a screening mammogram. We do know that for each woman whose cancer is found early through routine screening mammography under the current guidelines, the benefit can be profound.
We invite you to read the positions provided by the following organizations:
September 23, 2009 – Washington Radiology congratulates Dr. Leonard Glassman for being selected as a semifinalist for the Most Effective Radiology Educator category of the 2009 Minnies, AuntMinnie.com's annual event recognizing excellence in radiology. AuntMinnie.com is the premier industry site for radiologists and related professionals in the medical imaging industry. Minnies candidates are nominated by AuntMinnie.com members in September of each year. Semifinalists are selected through a vote by AuntMinnie's expert panel of radiology professionals.
Dr. Glassman has travelled the globe educating fellow radiologists on breast cancer diagnosis for more than two decades. In this year alone he has given presentations to the Japan College of Radiology in Fukuoka, Japan; the Radiological Society of the Netherlands in Ede, Holland; Jornada Paulista de Radiologia in Sao Paulo, Brazil and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. where he serves as an American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Scientist. Dr. Glassman will complete his international travel this year in October with a presentation to the French Society of Radiology in Paris.
We applaud Dr. Glassman for his passion and his tireless efforts to educate the worldwide medical community on breast cancer diagnosis and congratulate him on this most deserved honor.
September 21, 2009 – Fairfax, VA: A recent survey by Washington Radiology Associates, P.C. (WRA) showed that 97% of women do not know their personal risk level for developing breast cancer. Knowledge of personal risk level is critical in assigning women to the appropriate breast cancer screening protocol as indicated by the American Cancer Society. Screening protocols for women of moderate to high risk are different in both substance and timing than women of average risk. The ACS suggests high risk women should receive an annual breast MRI scan in addition to routine annual mammography. They also may need to begin screening at an earlier age.
WRA recently conducted a written survey of adult female patients to understand how and where their risk of breast cancer was being assessed. More than 1500 female patients in the District of Columbia, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Sterling and Fairfax responded to the confidential survey.
Respondents were asked about their personal and family history of breast cancer and about known risk factors for breast cancer, including genetic links, radiation treatment, breast biopsies showing precancerous conditions and related cancers. In addition, women were asked if they or their doctors had calculated their lifetime risk for breast cancer, a figure used to assess risk level.
The survey showed that 2% of respondents have had their physician calculate their lifetime risk for breast cancer; and, 2.5% of respondents had personally calculated their own lifetime risk using an online tool. However, only 1% of respondents knew the actual numerical value of their lifetime risk for breast cancer.
As expected, the survey showed that family history of breast cancer was the most commonly reported risk factor for breast cancer, with 29% of respondents indicating that a female or male family member had breast cancer. Overall, 42% of respondents reported at least one risk factor for breast cancer. As the number of risk factors a woman has increases, the greater is her lifetime risk for developing breast cancer. The survey showed that for each additional risk factor reported, the percentage of respondents who had breast cancer nearly doubled. In addition, the survey also showed that 2.5% of respondents have had genetic testing, yet, only 3% of all others have ever discussed genetic testing with their physician. Genetic testing reveals mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are associated with a 40-60% lifetime risk of breast and 15-40% lifetime risk of ovarian cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations occur in less than 1% of the population, but account for 5-10% of all breast cancers.
"“It is a shocking discrepancy that 42% of the respondents have at least one risk factor for breast cancer while only 3% know their own personal risk level,"” says radiologist, Ingrid Ott, M.D. "“Patients cannot be assigned to the appropriate screening protocol if their risk level is not known."
The responsibility of identifying high risk patients was recently addressed in the April 2009 ACOG Practice Bulletin released jointly by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO). The organizations recommend that gynecologists provide a routine assessment of a woman'’s risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, in order to identify those who may benefit from a more thorough hereditary cancer risk assessment. "The medical community has made tremendous strides in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in the past few decades, yet assessment of risk to ensure that women are getting the proper screening for cancer has not kept pace. Our survey demonstrates that the vast majority of women do not have sufficient knowledge of their own lifetime risk for developing breast cancer; without that critical information they may not be taking full advantage of the diagnostic and screening tools available to enable the earliest possible detection of breast cancer."
Healthcare providers use a variety of online tools or manual calculators to assess lifetime breast cancer risk. Patients can access several online calculators such as:
Risk levels are determined by lifetime risk of breast cancer as follows:
<15% = average risk, 15 - 20 % = moderate risk, >20% = high risk
WRA has been the leader in women's imaging diagnostics in the Washington, D.C area for over 60 years, offering the area's first mammography service in 1961 and OB/GYN ultrasound in 1971. WRA's board certified sub-specialized radiologists provide diagnosis of medical conditions, disease, and injury using the complete range of imaging modalities at six outpatient offices in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia.
June 25, 2009 – William J. Cochrane, MD, MB, ChB, FACOG, best known as an obstetrical and gynecological ultrasound pioneer and founder of Washington Ultrasound Associates passed away June 25, 2009. A board certified obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. Cochrane practiced obstetrical and gynecological diagnostic ultrasound with Washington Radiology Associates until his retirement in 2008.
William James Cochrane was born in Hamilton, Scotland ahead of his identical twin brother, Nathaniel. He received his medical education at the University of Glasgow and completed internships and residences in medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, and surgery in hospitals throughout Scotland. In 1967, Dr. Cochrane was called upon to serve as a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps for the Attached 42 Royal Marine Commando in the Aden Protectorate, now South Yemen. After completing his military service, he came to the United States for an OB/GYN residency program at George Washington University. During a training session at Columbia Hospital for Women, a visiting professor from Scotland and protege of Dr. Ian Donald who pioneered the use of ultrasound in the medical field demonstrated obstetrical and diagnostic ultrasound for the first time to the residents. "Dr. Cochrane was fascinated and elbowed his way to the front of the line to get a closer look. He found his passion with diagnostic ultrasound," says Dr. Martin A. Thomas, retired radiologist with Washington Radiology and Columbia Hospital's then Chief of Radiology.
After his residency, Dr. Cochrane was appointed to a research fellowship in diagnostic imaging at Columbia Hospital and went sent back to his native Scotland to train with Professor Donald at the Queen Mothers Hospital in Glasgow. In 1971, after his return to Washington, Dr. Cochrane established the first abdominal sonography program at Columbia Hospital for Women in conjunction with a research foundation. He stayed at Columbia Hospital for several years as an attending OBG before starting private practice. His practice focused on providing consultative ultrasound although he continued to deliver babies. In 1979, Dr. Cochrane founded the corporation, Washington Ultrasound Associates in conjunction with Washington Radiology Associates where he established himself as the premier authority in OB/GYN ultrasound in the Washington metropolitan area. He lectured at all the major Washington area hospitals on diagnostic ultrasound and created a loyal following of fellow physicians. By 1982 Dr. Cochrane had delivered his last baby and dedicated himself entirely to his practice of diagnostic ultrasound at Washington Ultrasound. In 1987, his group merged with Washington Radiology Associates where he continued his work in diagnostic imaging for the next 21 years.
Dr. Cochrane was an avid golfer and long-time member of Congressional Country Club in Bethesda. We will miss him.
April 29, 2009 – Read interview with WRA Radiologist and Virtual Colonoscopy expert Dr. Mark Klein in the Washington Post... read the interview here.
April 6, 2009 – Fairfax, VA: Osteoporosis in men is an important public health problem. Osteoporosis in men is substantially underdiagnosed, undertreated, and underreported. Although osteoporosis is often viewed as a disease of women, studies show that osteoporotic fractures also result in substantial morbidity, mortality, and financial expenses in men. In the U.S., it is estimated that 2 million men over the age of 50 have osteoporosis. Another 7 million have low bone mass or osteopenia of the hip which puts them at high risk for osteoporosis and fractures. The prevalence of osteoporosis is estimated to be 7% in white men, 5% in black men, and 3% in Hispanic men. With the aging of the population it is estimated that in 2020 one in two Americans over age of 50 will have, or be at high risk of developing osteoporosis and left unchecked, hip fractures will double or triple by this date.
The risk of mortality is 2.8–4 times greater among hip fracture patients during the first 3 months after the fracture. The loss of independence after a fracture can be psychologically devastating and lower the quality of life.
In May 2008, the American College of Physicians released new recommendations for men to receive an individualized assessment of risk factors for osteoporosis periodically and obtain dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for those who are at increased risk for osteoporosis and are candidates for drug therapy.
DXA scanning is a simple non-invasive test that measures the bone mineral density of bones most at risk for osteoporosis, primarily the spine and hip. It has been proven to be the most accurate and reproducible test to measure bone mineral density. DXA can identify low bone density before a fracture occurs and measure treatment impact on bone mineral density.
For patients over age 60, who have lost 1 inch in height, have focal back pain or have compression fractures, an additional test called vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) is warranted. VFA performed in conjunction with DXA is used to assess the architecture or distribution of the bone and can pinpoint the population at high risk for hip fracture. VFA can find breaks in the bone or abnormally shaped bones which indicate osteoporosis that a bone mineral density assessment alone sometimes cannot.
Washington Radiology has been providing DXA assessments for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis for over 10 years. “If we can detect it – it can be treated before a fracture occurs. That’s what makes DXA and VFA so compelling,” says radiologist, Dr. Edward Lipsit. WRA’s board certified radiologists are available to answer questions about DXA, VFA and the risk factors and recommendations for osteoporosis screening and monitoring for both men and women.
WRA specializes in the diagnosis of medical conditions, disease, and injury using the complete range of imaging modalities. WRA’s board certified radiologists serve patients at six outpatient offices in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and northern Virginia.
January 6, 2009 – Women today encounter a complex range of information on breast cancer from the scientific and medical communities that seems to change regularly. Whether the news is the root cause, potential risks, revised guidelines or the technology to detect breast cancer, information overload can make it complicated, confusing and time consuming to make informed decisions about breast health care.
In addition to being a radiologist at Washington Radiology Associates, PC (WRA), Leonard M. Glassman, MD, F.A.C.R is the American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Scientist at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. “Medical research and technological advances have created a maze of breast care choices that women and their doctors must navigate,” he says. “At WRA, we can manage the entire breast screening and diagnostic process, and help women understand the imaging options available to them.” WRA’s Director of Mammography, Julianne S. Greenberg, MD, adds “It’s my job, but also my privilege, to educate women about their diagnosis and help explain the various treatment options they may experience within the context of a complex medical system.”
Washington Radiology Associates, PC recommends 8 steps for women to take in their efforts to achieve breast health.
November 24, 2008 - Washington Radiology Associates, PC (WRA) today announced it will contribute $10,000 to the Breast Cancer Care Foundation (BCCF), a non-profit organization that provides access to breast health care and monetary assistance for Washington area women diagnosed with breast cancer. WRA’s monetary donation is in addition to its ongoing donations of diagnostic imaging services to patients referred from the BCCF and other community clinics throughout the Washington metropolitan area.
Jean M. Lynn, MPH, RN, OCN, President of the Breast Cancer Care Foundation underscored the increasing need of the foundation. “Our applications for assistance have almost doubled in the last month. We can really see the effects of the economy on our clients.” WRA’s President, Dr. Edward Lipsit, offered, “We’re glad we can contribute to an organization that will make a difference immediately. We have been providing mammograms and other imaging to women from the Breast Cancer Care Foundation, but with the economic crisis, we see they need more.” The mission of the BCCF is to fill the gap that other social programs do not cover. “We have applications requesting help with rent, utility bills, insurance premiums, and chemotherapy co-payments. We’re very grateful for Washington Radiology’s generous donation,” said Lynn.
November 15, 2008 - During the past year, WRA has performed 1850 charity exams valued at more than $700,000 to patients referred from various area organizations including:
September 5, 2008 - Agnes E. Holland, MD, PhD joins the practice of Washington Radiology Associates, PC. Dr. Holland, completed a four-year residency in diagnostic radiology at New York University Medical Center and completed fellowship training in Breast and Body Imaging at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, both in New York City, before entering private practice. Dr. Holland is a diplomat of the American Board of Radiology. In addition, Dr. Holland is an accomplished research scientist and has published numerous peer reviewed papers on specialized uses of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including breast MRI, which she has presented internationally.
Dr. Holland will see patients in the Fairfax, Sterling, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, and DC clinical offices. She is fluent in Dutch, Hungarian and German. To schedule an appointment at Washington Radiology Associates, PC, call 703-280-9800.
Dr. Holland is the third physician to join Washington Radiology Associates, PC this year.
August 25, 2008 - WRA has expanded its scheduling hours to accommodate callers before and after regular work hours. The scheduling team is now available from 7:30am - 6pm Monday through Friday. The scheduling phone line is 703-280-9800. All studies can be scheduled by calling this number, with the exception of MRI, breast biopsy and all nuclear medicine studies (including PET/CT) which are scheduled by calling the WRA clinical office.
April 10, 2008 - Leonard Glassman, MD, a radiologist at Washington Radiology Associates, is interviewed by the New York Times in a recent article on Digital Mammography.
June 22, 2007 - Leonard Glassman, MD, a radiologist at Washington Radiology Associates, has been chosen as the American College of Radiology's (ACR) "Breast Imaging Scientist" at the AFIP. Dr. Glassman received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College at the age of 22. He was a radiologist in the Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Project (BCDDP) study in the 1970s and spent three years as a radiologist in the US Air Force in Europe. After settling in Washington, DC, he spent a year as a radiologist at George Washington University and before entering private practice at Washington Radiology Associates, PC. He served as Chief of Radiology at Columbia Hospital for Women Medical Center for 14 years. Dr. Glassman began lecturing on breast disease and breast imaging at the AFIP in 1988, heading the Breast Imaging subsection. Dr. Glassman is currently a Fellow of the American College of Radiology and Clinical Professor of Radiology at George Washington and Georgetown Universities.
July 8, 2006 -Washington Radiology Associates is pleased to announce our practice-wide conversion to digital mammography services. This decision to fully convert to digital is based on results from the Digital Mammography Imaging Screening Trial (DMIST results). This large clinical trial (reported in The New England Journal of Medicine) showed the accuracy of digital mammography to be equal to film mammography for all women in the study group, and to be superior to film for women with dense breasts, women under age 50, and premenopausal and perimenopausal women. We believe that using the newest generation of equipment, and because of the many peripheral benefits of digital imaging, digital mammography is ultimately better for ALL women.
For more information about the DMIST Trial and digital mammography, click here.