Maryam Etesami, MD, is a radiologist who specializes in breast imaging and screening, including mammography with digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT)—an advanced imaging technique also known as 3D mammography. She also uses ultrasound, MRI, and image-guided biopsy to diagnose cancer.
“I am passionate about my job because I can save women's lives by detecting breast cancer early,” says Dr. Etesami, an attending physician at Smilow Cancer Hospital and several outpatient sites. “I chose radiology and specifically breast imaging because breast cancer is the most common cancer in women except for skin cancer, and with imaging we can detect it earlier and treat it more easily.”
She pays attention to each patient's individual situation and provides “the kind of care that I would want to receive myself,” she says. “My favorite part of my job is talking to the patients, explaining the imaging findings, and answering their questions,” she says.
In addition to caring for patients, Dr. Etesami is the service chief of breast MRI for Yale Medicine’s Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging. She has conducted several research projects on breast cancer screening using digital breast tomosynthesis or breast MRI. One of her goals is to help provide evidence to answer the question: At what age should a woman start having mammograms? Delaying screening may result in losing the opportunity to detect aggressive cancers at an earlier stage in women aged 40 to 49, Dr. Etesami says. While some have suggested that screening younger women is not effective, Dr. Etesami and her colleagues have found that DBT, when compared to conventional digital mammogram, has been shown to reduce false-positive recalls while also increasing cancer detection rates.