Tuesday, January 12, 2016

USPSTF Releases Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

The United States Preventative Services Task Force’s (USPSTF) new guidelines on breast cancer screening received extensive media coverage, with major US newspapers, websites, and wires covering the story. The guidelines were also discussed on two of last night’s national news broadcasts. Much of the coverage focused on the confusion surrounding screening, as several different groups have their own recommendations regarding screening. Coverage also focused on several medical groups’ criticisms of the recommendations.

The ACR was mentioned in several of the articles. The CBS Evening News (1/11, story 7, 2:00, Pelley) reported that the USPSTF “issued new guidelines for when women and how often women should be screened for breast cancer.” CBS’ Jon Lapook added that the USPSTF “says women of average risk should make an individual choice about whether to screen between the ages of 40 and 49 and be screened every other year between 50 and 74.” Lapook added, “Some doctors worry about the message these new guidelines may be sending to younger women.”

On NBC Nightly News (1/11, story 8, 2:10, Holt), NBC’s Anne Thompson said, “The ever-shifting guidelines for starting mammograms leaves some women feeling like they are playing a game of chance.”

The Washington Post (1/12, Sun) reports that about nine months ago, the USPSTF released “its latest draft guidance, basically reaffirming its 2009 recommendations that the greatest benefit of mammography screening is for women between 50 and 74.” Concerned “that millions of women under 50 could lose their free annual mammogram coverage if the guidelines became final, several health-care groups, including” the ACR, “lobbied Congress to block that from happening.”

The New York Times (1/12, A15, Grady, Subscription Publication) reports, “The recommendations are not immediately expected to affect insurance coverage.” Last month, “Congress passed a bill requiring private insurers to pay for screening mammograms for women 40 and over every one to two years without copays, coinsurance or deductibles, through” next year. However, “advocacy groups said they were worried about what will happen after” next year.

The San Francisco Chronicle (1/12, Colliver, Subscription Publication) reports that Dr. Bonnie Joe, who serves on the breast imaging commission for the ACR, said, “If we all agree saving lives is most important, the most prudent approach is to screen annually at age 40.” Dr. Joe added, “If we follow the new task force guidelines, you’re going to lose thousands of women a year by doing this less frequent screening.”

Aunt Minnie (1/12) reports, Dr. Debra Monticciolo, chair of ACR’s breast imaging commission, told AuntMinnie.com, “It’s really disappointing that the USPSTF has put out these national guidelines without having an evidence-based metric for assessing mammography’s benefits versus its risks.” She added, “It’s reasonable for women to know what to expect from mammography, but we need to be clear that starting screening at age 40 has tremendous benefit in terms of reducing mortality from breast cancer. Screening less isn’t going to make cancers go away.”

MedPage Today (1/12, Bankhead) reports that “in a joint statement, the” ACR “and the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) said ‘women should continue to begin annual mammography screening at age 40.’” MedPage Today (1/12, Sergel) also carries an article titled “Radiologists Remain Scornful Of USPSTF Mammo Guideline.”

HealthDay (1/12, Thompson) reports that in their statement, the ACR and the SBI said, “If followed, new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force breast cancer screening recommendations will result in thousands of unnecessary deaths each year and thousands more women enduring extensive and expensive treatment than if their cancer had been found early by an annual mammogram.”

OncLive (1/12, Columbus) reports that in the statement, Dr. Monticciolo, said, “A recent study in the British Medical Journal confirms that early detection of breast cancer via mammography is critical for improving breast cancer survival, regardless of therapy advances. Moving away from yearly screening in women 40-and-older endangers women, would cause needless death and disfigurement of women, and would simply not be good breast cancer screening policy.”

Newsweek (1/12, Firger) reports that yesterday, the US Department of Health and Human Services released “a statement that the task force’s updated guidelines won’t change mammography coverage.”

Also covering the story are theWall Street Journal (1/12, Reddy, Subscription Publication), the AP (1/12, Neergaard), Reuters (1/12, Seaman), the Los Angeles Times (1/12, Healy), the San Francisco Chronicle (1/12, Colliver, Subscription Publication), the NBC News (1/12, Fox) website, US News & World Report (1/12, Schroeder), the CBS News (1/12, Welch) website, the NPR (1/12, Hobson) “Shots” blog, the Bergen (NJ) Record (1/12, Washburn), TIME (1/12, Park), the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (1/12, Venteicher), the Columbus (OH) Dispatch (1/12, Sutherly), Medscape (1/12, Osterweil), and Congressional Quarterly (1/12, Young, Subscription Publication). 


Categories: 2016, January, News, Advocacy, Screening and MammographyNumber of views: 10606