Daniel Kopans, MD, FACR, FSBI, writes about "alternative facts" and the impact the concept has in breast imaging. He writes, "'Alternative Facts” (AF) recently appeared as an outrageous concept in the “political arena”. What most do not realize is that “alternative” facts have been promulgated for decades by those seeking to reduce access to breast cancer screening. This has led to the pseudo “debate” about screening that has persisted for decades due to the “alternative facts” that have been manufactured to keep the “debate” going. Each time an “alternative fact” has been generated to cast doubt on screening, it has been refuted by science ([i]). Unfortunately, as each (true) fact has been established, new “alternative facts” have been manufactured."
SBI Board Member Dr. Dan Kopans, FSBI, debates Dr. Saurabh Jah about the importance of screening mammography and the problem with claims about the overdiagnosis of breast cancer.
In continuing coverage, USA Today (1/13, Painter) reported that research “suggested one in three breast cancers found through the screening tests are ‘overdiagnosed’ – meaning they never would have threatened a woman’s life but still led to treatments such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.” The findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The article discussed the “confusion” surrounding mammograms, to which studies like this contribute, with some physicians “[saying] their patients have started to tune out the noise.” USA Today points out that “the American College of Radiology recommends annual mammograms starting at age 40.”