Thank you for taking the time to learn about Bexa. We’re working hard to continuously advance the sophistication of Bexa and to establish its role in the early detection of breast cancer.
Early detection is a critical factor in determining the suffering and death produced by invasive breast cancers. The best means of reducing the impact of breast cancer is an effective, annual early detection examination every year beginning at age 40. This starting age and annual frequency are supported by the leading breast imaging and cancer treatment universities and professional organizations.
Currently, the only widely recommended early detection examination is mammograms. Mammograms are a very valuable technology and have saved many, many lives over time. Bexa does not aim to be a replacement for mammograms, and we never want to be confused as diminishing the importance of such a valuable technology. But over the past two years we have examined the claims history from virtually every type of payor source and found very sad news: less than 50% of women have an annual mammogram beginning at age 40. Often well less than 50%. This despite years and literally billions spent on promotion. When early detection rates fall this low breast cancers are often not diagnosed until late stages when treatment is harsh and survival is low. An additional modality is urgently needed.
In recent years some recommendations have suggested that women not start having mammograms until age 50, and then every other year or less frequently. What most women and many providers don’t understand is that this advice is about lowering the use of mammograms because they create many false positives under age 50 - but doesn’t mean there’s any less need for early detection to begin at age 40, by some other means. In fact, the group that is being most hurt by increasing breast cancer incidence is women 40-45, and African American women 35-39 who have no easily available option. Tragically there is little recognition or response to this clear need; that’s not okay. What’s needed are additional technologies and options in addition to, and not attempting to replace mammograms.
Low participation in current screening is affecting every community, every race, ethnicity and income level - but women of color and women with low incomes are disproportionately left behind. African American women are especially abandoned; they’re getting breast cancer 3 to 4 years younger than other women and need their annual examinations to begin at age 35, but there’s no large-scale solution that’s needed to detect these commonly aggressive cancers. If there’s anything that’s made clear by experience to date, it’s that additional solutions are needed.
Leaving women of color, and low-income women behind is not okay. Knowing that current screening options for the most common women’s cancer are adopted by less than 50% of women and resisting the development of new early detection options, is not okay. Women, wives, sisters, daughters and mothers are the foundation of every society; the only thing that is okay is to work every day to find a way to protect them from one of their greatest risks by advancing an option they’re willing to adopt on a large scale. This is our mission.
Joe Peterson, MD
Chairman & CEO