The Radiology Business Journal (11/8, Walter) provides coverage of a new analysis exploring both the benefits and risks of undergoing screening mammography when women turn 75. According to the article, the authors of the analysis conclude that “women should not stop undergoing regular mammography based on their age alone.” They wrote, “Older women are a vulnerable population at risk of developing and dying from breast cancer; however, screening mammography remains underutilized in these women.” One author pointed out “that imaging societies have varying opinions on this issue.” For example, both the Society of Breast Imaging and the American College of Radiology do “not recommend stopping screening on the basis of age.” The findings were published in the American Journal of Roentgenology
HealthDay (11/6, Preidt) reports that a survey suggests “many breast cancer patients skip recommended treatment after surgery because they lack faith in the health care system.” The “survey found those who reported a general distrust of medical institutions and insurers were more likely to forgo follow-up breast cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy or radiation.” Meanwhile, “trust or distrust of their own doctors did not emerge as a factor.” The findings were published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
The Radiology Business Journal (11/6, Walter) reports that research suggests “developing electronic triggers to detect delays in follow-up of abnormal mammographic results offers healthcare providers with an ‘unprecedented opportunity to improve care.’” The findings were published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Aunt Minnie (11/1) reports that a new study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons found that “surveillance is safe” for a type of high-risk breast “lesion called flat epithelial atypia” that is “typically treated surgically.” Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital reviewed 208 patients’ medical records over a nine-year period. Senior author Dr. Constance Lehman said, “Surveillance, rather than surgery, is a good option for women with [flat epithelial atypia] lesions who do not have a genetic mutation and are not interested in chemoprevention.”
Reuters (10/19, Harding) reports that “African-American women have worse breast cancer survival than white women in the US, and” research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology “suggests that is largely because black women are less likely to have health insurance.” The research indicated approximately “23 percent of black women diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004-2013 had either no health insurance or had Medicaid coverage, versus 8 percent of white breast cancer patients.” This “insurance difference explained about 37 percent of the excess mortality among black women, the researchers calculated.”
Medscape (10/19, Harrison) reports, meanwhile, that “tumor characteristics accounted for 23.2% of the excess risk.”