Thursday, October 13, 2016

Research Questions Value of Mammograms for Breast Cancer Screening

The AP (10/12, Marchione) reports that research published in the New England Journal of Medicine “questions the value of mammograms for breast cancer screening.” The study indicated “that a woman is more likely to be diagnosed with a small tumor that is not destined to grow than she is to have a true problem spotted early.” The AP points out that “a statement from the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging says ‘smaller cancers result in better outcomes for women.’”


Modern Healthcare (10/12, Castellucci, Subscription Publication) reports that investigators “analyzed federal data on cancer incidence and survival from 1975 to 2012 to determine tumor size and rates of breast cancer among women ages 40 and older.”


Reuters (10/12, Emery) reports that the investigators “found that mammography resulted in the discovery of 162 more cases of breast cancer for every 100,000 women, but only 30 of those small tumors were expected to grow and become a danger,” which “suggests more than four times as many cases – 132 in all – were what is known as overdiagnosed.”


MedPage Today (10/12, Walker) reports that the study “also found that while the breast cancer mortality rate improved during the study period, screening did not appear to be the predominant reason.”


In “Science Now,” the Los Angeles Times (10/12, Healy) reports, “More than half of breast cancers newly diagnosed in the United States are likely cases of mistaken identity that subject women to needless anxiety, treatment and expense,” investigators concluded.


NBC News (10/12, Douglas, Dunn, Fox) reports on its website that some “experts...called the report deeply flawed and urged women to get mammograms as recommended.”


HealthDay (10/12, Norton) reports that in a statement, the American College of Radiology “pointed to evidence that the US breast cancer rate has been rising each year for some time.” If “that trend been taken into account, the ACR said, ‘the findings would have been vastly different – showing no evidence of overdiagnosis and a marked decline in advanced cancers.’”


In a statement (10/12), ACR wrote, “The numerical data in Welch et al. published in the October 13 New England Journal of Medicine, clearly show that mammography screening catches more cancers early and reduces the number of women with cancers of advanced size. Smaller cancers result in better outcomes for women. This not only helps save lives, but also allows more women to have their cancers treated with less extensive surgery, fewer mastectomies, and less frequent or aggressive chemotherapy.” 


Categories: 2016, October, News, Research and Care, Screening and MammographyNumber of views: 9261