The Los Angeles Times (8/22, Healy) reports that research “concludes that a woman’s breast density should influence the frequency with which she is screened for breast cancer, in addition to such long-recognized breast cancer risk factors as age, ethnicity, personal history of abnormal breast findings and a family history of breast cancer.” The study “recommends that women older than 50 with dense breast tissue who have higher-than-normal risk of developing breast cancer should get annual mammograms.” The research, which was “underwritten by the National Cancer Institute...combined the data-collection efforts of breast-cancer epidemiologists with three separate teams of cancer modelers.”
Aunt Minnie (8/19) reports that research indicated “physicians who refer patients to mammography screening are affected by their own specialty’s guidelines on breast exams.” This is “a phenomenon that patients need to understand to make truly informed decisions about breast cancer screening, wrote” the researchers. The findings were published online in the American Journal of Roentgenology. The article points out that prior to “2009, the American College of Radiology (ACR), the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and the American College of Physicians (ACP) all recommended starting screening at age 40, with an interval of one to two years.”
The Radiology Business Journal (8/10, Walter) reports that according to a study published in Academic Radiology, “breast dose from 64-slice CT studies are mainly dependent on the protocol when breasts are entirely included in the primary x-ray field.” But, “when breasts are just partially included in that primary x-ray field...dose is dependent on both the type of scanner being used and the protocol.”
Medscape (8/10, Mulcahy) reports, “For the first time, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends that clinicians ‘consider’ tomosynthesis as part of annual breast cancer screening.” Medscape points out that “the context of the recommendation is annual screening mammography in both average- and increased-risk women and refers to tomosynthesis as an adjunct to digital mammography.” In an interview, Debra Monticciolo, MD, a spokesperson for the American College of Radiology, said, “I think tomosynthesis is the mammography of the future.” Dr. Monticciolo was not involved with the NCCN panel.