Rep. DeLauro Seeking To Stop Task Force From Issuing New Set Of Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations

Friday, June 26, 2015
The Congressional Quarterly (6/26, Young, Subscription Publication) reports that Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), “the top Democratic House appropriator for federal health programs, is seeking to stop a federal task force from issuing a new set of breast cancer screening recommendations that she says would make mammography more expensive and thus inaccessible for some women in their 40s.” Rep. DeLauro “thanked House Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations Chairman Tom Cole, R-Okla., for a new provision in his spending bill that’s intended to block the planned new recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force for a year.” Rep. DeLauro “said she is concerned that a new set of recommendations from the task force could lead insurers to require women in their 40s to pay part of the cost of mammograms.”

Physicians Concerned About USPSTF’s New Mammogram Guidelines

Thursday, June 25, 2015
The Los Angeles Daily News (6/24) reports physicians “say more women are becoming confused by federal guidelines that tell them that if they are not at risk and under 50, they don’t need mammograms or other cancer-prevention screenings.” Last month, the US Preventive Services Task Force “released draft recommendations on mammograms for women that include letter grades beside each guideline. For example, they issued a ‘B’ grade for mammograms every two years for women 50 to 74 years old but a ‘C’ for mammography for women younger than 50.” While the guidelines are still under review, “physicians say aside from adding to the public’s confusion about preventive screening, the recommendations that receive ‘C’ grades could lead to insurance companies dropping coverage of mammograms for women under 50.” 

Most Women With Early Breast Cancer Undergo Imaging Tests To See Whether The Disease Has Spread, Despite Recommendations Against Such Tests

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Reuters (6/22, Doyle) reports that research (6/22) published in CMAJ suggests that approximately 90% of women who have early breast cancer undergo imaging tests to see whether the disease has spread, even though groups such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology recommend against such tests. 

Study: “Teaching Session” Dissuaded Primary Care Physicians From Recommending Screening Mammography To Women In Their 40s

Friday, June 19, 2015
Aunt Minnie (6/19, Yee) reports, “The number of primary care physicians who would recommend screening mammography to women in their 40s plummeted after they received information in a ‘teaching session’ about the ‘harms’ of screening, according to” research published in the May issue of the Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare. At first, “more than 82% of primary care physicians and nurses said they would recommend screening mammography to women in their 40s,” the study found. However, “that number fell to less than 9% after doctors and nurses received what the researchers called a teaching session, using content based on the breast screening criteria issued in 2009 by the US Preventive Services Task Force.” 

ACR’s Dr. Monticciolo Explains Why Women Should Seek Annual Mammograms Beginning At Age 40

Thursday, June 18, 2015
In a US News & World Report (6/18) article titled “How Often Do You Really Need A Mammogram?,” ACR Breast Imaging Commission Chair Debra Monticciolo, MD, explains why women should still seek annual mammograms beginning at age 40. According to the article, the ACR “stand[s] firm on yearly mammography starting at 40.” Dr. Monticciolo said, “Every major group with expertise in breast cancer care and the USPSTF agree that annual mammography saves the most lives.” She added, “From a woman’s perspective, this is the most important reason to have a mammogram – to decrease the chance that she will die of breast cancer.”