Expert Equates Personalized Mammography Screening To Healthcare Rationing

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Aunt Minnie (9/16, Yee) reports that an opinion piece published online Sept. 8 in the American Journal of Roentgenology asserts that “personalized” mammography “screening equates to healthcare rationing.” Aunt Minnie interviews the author of that commentary, Dr. Stephen Feig, of the University of California-Irvine, who pointed out, “Studies have found that not screening supposedly lower-risk women – that is, those without a family history of the disease or dense tissue – would miss 80% of breast cancers.” Dr. Feig added, “If you cut back on screening, you’ll reduce the number of lives saved – it’s that simple.” 

Researchers Awarded $2.5M Grant To Develop New Breast Cancer Screening Methods

Wednesday, September 9, 2015
HealthImaging (9/9, Godt) reports that the National Cancer Institute has awarded the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City a $2.5 million grant for the “development of new short-term breast cancer risk prediction models,” which “aim to help increase cancer detection of breast MRI, according to OU.”

Bipartisan Group Working To Overrule USPSTF On Mammograms

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Congressional Quarterly (9/2, Young, Subscription Publication) (9/2, Young, Subscription Publication) reports that a bipartisan group of legislators, including Reps. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), is working to “preserve free mammograms for women in their 40s,” a step that would “effectively reject” the US Preventive Services Task Force’s preliminary conclusion. Much of the debate surrounds the response to finding ductual carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which is “a prime driver of concerns about overdiagnosis, the task force said.” Unfortunately, “there’s no way of knowing which cases of DCIS will be harmless and which will turn deadly, said Joshua Cooper, senior director of government relations for the American College of Radiology.” 

Poll: Most Women 40 And Older Believe They Should Have Mammograms Annually

Monday, August 31, 2015
NPR (8/29, Hensley) (8/29, Hensley) reported the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics health poll found nearly two-thirds of women ages 50 and older believe they should have mammograms annually as did 56 percent of those between 40 and 49 years old, which is in keeping with guidelines from the American College of Radiology and other medical organizations involved in breast cancer care, but “is at odds with current recommendations by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that women with typical risks for breast cancer have screening mammograms every two years starting at age 50 and until they turn 75.” In addition, “48 percent of respondents were aware that the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover mammograms without any out-of-pocket costs.” 

Unpleasant Psychosocial Effects Of False-Positive Mammograms May Last For Months

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Aunt Minnie (8/27) reports, “Women who receive false-positive mammograms are five times more likely to experience long-term unpleasant psychosocial consequences than women with negative exams,” according to research published Aug. 26 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. Swedish researchers “found that the use of early recall...can result in negative emotional consequences that may persist for up to 12 months after the initial false-positive mammogram.” The study’s “authors acknowledged that the consequences of emotional distress should be balanced against the lifesaving value of breast screening.”

HealthDay (8/27, Preidt) reports that the study, which included “nearly 400 such cases found that 88 percent of the women said they felt a sense of dejection, such as being uneasy, sad or unable to cope; 83 percent reported anxiety; 67 percent said they had behavioral changes, such as trouble dealing with spare time or work; and 53 percent suffered sleeping problems.”