Entries in Mammography (3)


AMA Disagrees with USPSTF on Mammography

Comstock/Jupiterimages(CHICAGO) -- After a heated debate Tuesday, the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates has come to a consensus that “every woman should get routine screening mammograms every year starting at age 40,” MedPageToday reports.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) disagrees with AMA's recommendation. It says that women under 50 do not need routine screening mammography for breast cancer.

The AMA also "expresses concern regarding recent recommendations by the USPSTF on screening mammography and prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening and the effects these recommendations have on limiting access to preventive care for Americans."

Like the AMA, several other medical groups, including the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, disagree with the USPSTF mammography recommendation, MedPage reports.

The USPSTF is known for their controversial belief that prostate cancer screenings for healthy men leads to unnecessary tests, interventions and treatments.

“The USPSTF is an independent panel of 16 volunteer members, most of whom are clinicians in primary care or preventive medicine,” according to MedPageToday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Computer-Aided Mammography Is Costly But Seemingly Useless, Study Finds

Comstock/Jupiterimages(DAVIS, Calif.) -- Computer-Assisted Detection, or CAD -- used to help radiologists interpret mammography scans -- is supposed to mark potential abnormalities on a mammogram that radiologists might otherwise miss.  

Approved by the FDA in 1998, the technology increases the cost of mammography by nine to 15 percent.  But does it actually improve breast cancer detection?  According to a University of California, Davis -- not really.

The authors analyzed the records of almost 685,000 women who underwent over 1.6 million mammograms between 1998 and 2006.  Of the 90 facilities included in the evaluation, almost 28 percent had adopted CAD during this time and used it for an average of a bit more than two years. They found that CAD use led to an increased number of false-positive results, it failed to improve the rate of detection of real abnormalities, and did not improve the rate of breast cancer detection overall.  

The authors explain in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that “breast cancers were detected at a similar stage and size regardless of whether or not radiologists used CAD.”  Although these findings bring into question the need for CAD in general, the authors also suggest that the lack of effectiveness may arise because radiologists don’t always use the technology strictly as designed, thereby reducing its usefulness.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


The Mammography Debate May Not Be Over

Comstock/Jupiterimages(MINNEAPOLIS) -- The question of whether women should or should not get a mammogram at a certain age may have been substantially answered by the June 28 study of 130,000 Swedish women, but how frequently they should get one is still a question up for debate.  

By using a computer model, the authors of a University of Minnesota study evaluated the cost effectiveness of various mammography screening schedules for women aged 40-79.  They found that screening every two years is cost effective for pretty much all women ages 50-79, but for those 40-49, it seemed effective only for those at higher risk of breast cancer -- such as women with dense breasts, a family history of breast cancer or with previous breast biopsies.  

Annual screening on the other hand, was not cost effective for women of any age.  The authors argue that mammography should therefore “be personalized on the basis of a women’s age, breast density, history of breast biopsy, family history … and beliefs about the potential benefit and harms of screening.”

The authors of an accompanying editorial aren’t as convinced that there is sufficient understanding of breast cancer risk factors, and they write that “further research is needed to overcome gaps in our knowledge of the underlying relationships between risk factors and the biology of breast cancer.”

The study's findings are published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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