Assistant Professor of Radiology Assistant Director, Medical Education
UChicago Faculty Physicians hold faculty positions with the University of Chicago and provide care for patients on the academic health system’s main campus in Hyde Park and in care centers throughout the Chicago region.Close
Deepa Sheth, MD, is an oncology radiologist who believes women should be empowered with options for the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Dr. Sheth focuses on advanced forms of breast imaging, including three-dimensional mammography (tomosynthesis), automated whole breast ultrasound (AWBUS), and breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). She champions continuing education for radiologists and technicians.
Dr. Sheth is active in various multi-institutional clinical trials that evaluate MRI imaging as a tool to predict and classify potential malignancies. She has written or co-authored more than a dozen articles on breast cancer that have appeared in the American Journal of Roentgenology, European Journal of Radiology and Journal of Vascular Interventional Radiology.
Good morning. I'm good. How are you guys?
How are you doing this morning? Are you feeling OK?
I am. I'm a little nervous. Just a wee bit.
No you're not.
I know I'm in good hands with you.
Have you had a mammogram before?
I've had one.
And it's been a long time ago.
How long ago?
I'm embarrassed to say. Six years.
Woo. I know.
You stayed anyway that long?
But I'm here. I'm here today.
Yes, you are.
Yeah. I'm ready.
We take four pictures, two of each breast, CC, MLO. CC is the first image, and the breast is placed on the detector. The compression paddle is lowered to the breast.
We compress until it's taut, which seems a lot, in which we want the best compression for the best images.
You are all done this morning.
Let's put your gown back on.
I'm going to have you have a seat here.
And I'll turn this in to the doctor.
How are you feeling? How's everything?
You know what? I feel OK. It wasn't that bad, but now I'm just anxious for my results.
So we're going to get that doctor. And we will get you your results.
You're welcome. Thank you.
And here to interpret the results of my mammogram, please welcome Dr. Deepa. She is assistant professor of radiology at the Breast Imaging Center of the University of Chicago Medicine. Say that 10 times fast. Dr. Deepa, it's so good to see you again.
Thanks for having me, really a pleasure.
Yes. And of course. And you did give me my results right then and there. So I do know my results. But let's share with everyone what my results were.
Yep. So after your one on one consultation, everything was totally normal.
Yes. That was good.
I'm very fortunate.
But let's talk a little bit more about the Breast Cancer Center at the University of Chicago Medicine, because it's truly special there.
It really is. It's at the forefront of medicine, as we like to call it. Right? And it's a multi building, multi-center institution. We are the only institution that offers phase one, two, and three clinical trials for breast cancer in Chicago.
Right. And so when should someone start getting a mammogram?
Yeah. There's a lot of confusing guidelines on this. Right?
There's different societies that talk about different ages. The majority of societies, including the American College of Radiology, recommends getting mammograms at the age of 40 every single year.
So it's not every other year. It's not you can skip a few, because you've heard those reports where that can be confusing.
That's right. That's right. And it has to do with data that was acquired almost 30 to 40 years ago. And people just keep sort of rummaging through it, recalculating, and re-analyzing it. But the safest thing is at the age of 40, every year.
Now, there are a few different caveats to that and cautions to that. So this is assuming that you are an average risk patient, you have an average lifetime risk of 12%. If you feel like you know you have a strong family history of breast cancer, you have a personal history of breast cancer, those guidelines may vary a little bit. And I think it's important for you to talk to your primary care doctor about that, because you may have to start screening a little bit earlier.
Right. OK. So we want to talk a little bit more about my mammogram. And everything was fine.
And we didn't want to show you the images. Although, I must admit, my breasts looked really good on the X-Ray. Better on the X-ray than they do in person.
Her peck muscles look great.
But you said to me, you go, Val, your breasts are really dense. And immediately I go, well, what does that mean?
Yeah. Yeah. So your breasts were dense, and that's a term that radiologists use. And it describes a proportion of fibroglandular tissue to fatty or adipose tissue. It comes in four categories, from low to high.
And the reason why we get worked up about it is that when you have increased breast density, like you, not only does it increase your risk of breast cancer-- the greater the volume of tissue, the greater the risk of tissue, but it also makes it that much harder for me as a radiologist to see the cancer hiding behind that dense breast tissue.
And in addition, really starting January of 2019, there are new federal breast density notification laws that are sweeping the nation. So if you go to densebreastinfo.org and you click on Illinois, not only do we require us, as radiologists, to tell you that you have dense breast tissue, but there's also now new insurance coverage that provides for an ultrasound or an MRI if you have dense breast tissue.
So that's new. That just started this year. And different states vary in this breast density notification coverage, but Illinois is the most progressive one of them all.
So then I need to really be paying attention to this. And if you have dense breasts, you should too.
Yeah. So go home and read your mammogram report.
- University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago
- Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center
- University of Chicago Medicine
- University of Chicago Medicine
Memberships & Medical Societies
- American Association of Women in Radiology
- American College of Radiology
- American Medical Association
- American Roentgen Ray Society
- Chicago Radiological Society
- Illinois Radiological Society
- Society of Breast Imaging
- Society of Interventional Radiology
- Radiological Society of North America
- Aetna HMO (specialists only)
- Aetna POS
- Aetna PPO
- BCBS Blue Precision HMO (specialists only)
- BCBS HMO (HMOI) (specialists only)
- BCBS PPO
- Cigna HMO
- Cigna POS
- Cigna PPO
- CountyCare *see insurance page
- Aetna Better Health *see insurance page
- Multiplan PPO
- PHCS PPO
- United Choice Plus POS/PPO
- United Options (PPO)
- United Select (HMO & EPO) (specialists only)
- United W500 Emergent Wrap
- Aetna Medicare Advantage HMO & PPO
- BCBS Medicare Advantage HMO & PPO
- Humana Medicare Advantage Choice PPO
- Humana Medicare Advantage Gold Choice PFFS
- Humana Medicare Advantage Gold Plus HMO
- United Choice HMO (specialists only)
- University of Chicago Health Plan (UCHP)
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For more than 70 years, the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation Women’s Board has been providing seed funding to support leading-edge cancer research at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center.Watch Video Watch Video With Transcript