SBI Board Member, Daniel B. Kopans, MD, FSBI, explains why there are problems with the USPSTF breast screening recommendations and how the new guidelines could affect women in an op-ed published on Forbes.com.
In a letter-to-the-editor of the Washington Post (1/15, Monticciolo), Debra Monticciolo, chair of the Breast Imaging Commission of the American College of Radiology, criticized the US Preventive Services Task Force mammography guidelines. She wrote, “Congress is justified in delaying implementation of the task force’s recommendations so that breast cancer experts can review them and the process that created them.” According to Monticciolo, “Rushing into a policy that even its supporters admit could result in thousands of unnecessary deaths each year makes no sense for women, their providers or anyone else.”
HealthImaging (1/15, Pearson) reports, “Determination of breast density fluctuates considerably from one exam to the next in any given woman,” which “can both perplex the patient and drive unintended consequences into her care pathway – effects that may be exacerbated by the direct-to-consumer density notifications required by law in (so far) 24 U.S. states.” Additionally, investigators found that “supplemental screening of women with dense breasts does indeed find additional breast cancer, but it also increases false positives.” These findings come from a review published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
A group of like-minded women’s health care organizations expressed their disappointment with the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF or Task Force) for finalizing its draft breast cancer screening recommendations in spite of 2015 legislation mandating a moratorium on implementation. The Task Force chose to publish its guidelines just weeks after Congress passed the legislation that would prevent the recommendations from going into effect until Jan. 1, 2018, adding another layer of confusion for women and physicians.
SBI Immediate Past President, Murray Rebner, MD, FSBI, SBI Board Member Jay Baker, MD, FSBI and SBI Members Rachel Brem, MD, FSBI, Avice O'Connell, MD, FSBI, Susan Harvey, MD, and Wendie Berg, MD, FSBI, warn that the final breast cancer screening guidelines, issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), will cause the deaths of thousands of women.