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Women's Lifestyle Magazine

Ask The Expert: Mark Traill, MD Radiology, Breast Imaging Metro Health – University of Michigan Health

Jun 05, 2020 02:32PM ● By Elyse Wild

Dr. Traill is a diagnostic radiologist who specializes in the interpretation of mammograms and breast ultrasound, breast biopsy, and breast and body MRI. His experience includes the use of artificial intelligence (AI) applications for breast cancer detection on mammograms—an advancement increasingly seen as a way to combine human expertise with the power of technology to improve diagnostic accuracy.  

After receiving his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine, Dr. Traill completed his residency at Michigan State University and a fellowship at Tufts University School of Medicine. He serves patients at Metro Health s main hospital campus in Wyoming, as well as Metro Health Park East in Cascade, where he works with a comprehensive team that specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases using the latest medical imaging procedures. 

As an affiliate of University of Michigan Health, Metro Health provides a world-class system of leading-edge healthcare services with its patient-centric, holistic approach. 

Improving your breast health

In general, what can women do for better breast health?

Monthly breast self-exams are very, very important. A large number of new breast cancer cases are found sooner by a patient during a self-exam. 

The most aggressive breast cancers may also develop between annual mammograms, and early detection is key to a good treatment outcome. We recommend starting annual screening mammography at age 40 for patients of average risk for breast cancer. 

Are there common breast issues women have that aren’t related to cancer?

Breast cysts are very common in all age groups. Typically, there is no risk of malignancy unless the cyst is part of a solid mass. Benign breast lumps are also very common, especially in younger patients. However, any new palpable lump needs to be evaluated by a radiologist to determine its cause. 

What factors contribute to a woman’s overall breast cancer risk?

Age is the most critical factor in breast cancer diagnosis. Most cases occur after age 50. Genetic mutations like BRCA1 and BRCA2 are risk factors, as well as dense breast tissue, a personal history of breast disease, a family history of breast cancer, prior radiation to the breast, race (African Americans are at higher risk), physical inactivity, obesity and hormone treatments. 

What conversations should women have with their physician to maintain breast health?

If a woman isn’t familiar with breast self-exams, she should discuss the process with her doctor. Women should also discuss when to begin annual mammograms. Addressing risk assessments for breast cancer is important because high-risk patients may need additional screening with MRI or ultrasound.

How is Metro Health leveraging AI technology for mammography?

Metro Health is the first hospital in West Michigan to use ProFound AI, an AI algorithm that detects breast cancer on 3D mammograms as well—or better—than the human eye. When a human reads a mammogram and uses AI as a second set of eyes, the cancer detection rate can be significantly improved, and the number of unnecessary biopsy cases are reduced. Also, there is no additional cost to the patient for this AI technology. 

How does the AI technology work?

The software is trained to detect malignant soft-tissue densities and calcifications. It provides radiologists with scoring information that represents the likelihood that a spot is cancerous. AI technology learns continuously and each new case teaches the program something new. 

This program can detect abnormalities that the human eye has difficulty seeing and has been proven to reduce false positives and patient recall rates as well as decrease physician reading time.

What motivated Metro Health to adopt this new technology? 

Metro Health recognizes the potential this software has to make a difference in the lives of patients and their families. Our organization takes pride in its history of being a progressive healthcare leader, and Metro Health’s executive administration supports innovation and advanced technology. We see that precision medicine is the future, and we want to be at the forefront.