Study: Increased Use Of Mammograms To Screen For Breast Cancer Has Not Saved Lives

Tuesday, July 7, 2015
The Los Angeles Times (7/7, Kaplan) “Science Now” blog reports that research published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that “the increased use of mammograms to screen for breast cancer has subjected more women to invasive medical treatments but has not saved lives.” Investigators “examined data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry.”       

Members Of House GOP Doctors Caucus Want To Stop USPSTF From Finalizing Draft Recommendation On Mammography

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Congressional Quarterly (7/1, Young, Subscription Publication) reports that “members of the House GOP Doctors Caucus... want to stop the United States Preventive Services Task Force from finalizing its draft recommendation on mammography.” In a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, they wrote, “Should the USPSTF recommendations become finalized, they will have a chilling effect on coverage for diagnostic mammograms, jeopardizing the health of American women.” 

Study: Most Imaging Among Asymptomatic Early-Stage Breast Cancer Patients Is Inappropriate.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Diagnostic Imaging (7/1) reports that research suggests that “most imaging among asymptomatic early-stage breast cancer patients is inappropriate and may lead to harm.” The findings were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. 

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.”