Publication Abstract

Authors: Tohno E, Takahashi H, Tamada T, Fujimoto Y, Yasuda H, Ohuchi N

Title: Educational program and testing using images for the standardization of breast cancer screening by ultrasonography.

Journal: Breast Cancer 19(2):138-46

Date: 2012 Apr

Abstract: BACKGROUND: To improve the quality of breast cancer screening by ultrasonography, both effective training and evaluation of the performance of the examiners of breast ultrasound are essential. METHODS: The Educational Committee of the Japan Association of Breast and Thyroid Sonology, an NPO, has established 2-day training programs on breast ultrasonography with tests at the end of the programs. The tests are performed using images to evaluate the ability of observers to detect and evaluate lesions on ultrasound. Ability to detect lesions was examined by using videos, and ability to evaluate lesions was examined by using still images. The results of tests taken by 422 physicians and 415 technologists were analyzed. RESULTS: In a comparison between physicians and technologists, the video specificity, the still image sensitivity, and the percentage of category agreement did not show any significant differences. The video sensitivity, the still image specificity, and the percentage of disease name agreement were significantly higher in technologists. Observers who had experienced <100 cases showed significantly poorer results in all subjects except for the video specificity in physicians and the still image specificity in technologists. CONCLUSIONS: Ultrasound technologists perform as well as physicians in recognizing and interpreting cancers on breast ultrasound, which supports their role in performing the initial screening examination.