HealthDay (10/26, Preidt) reports that research indicates “knowing they’re at increased risk for breast cancer isn’t enough to persuade many women to get MRI screenings – even if they’re free.” The findings were presented at an American College of Surgeons meeting.
Aunt Minnie (10/30, Yee) reports that mammograms remain “the best tool for breast cancer screening” as compared to thermography. The FDA released a consumer health statement adding that although “it has received reports from physicians and patients that some healthcare facilities are providing information that misleads patients into thinking that thermography is a proven alternative to mammography,” the evidence shows that “thermography has not been shown to be effective as a standalone test for breast cancer screening or diagnosis for early-stage breast cancer, the FDA said in the statement.” Dr. Helen Barr, director of the Division of Mammography Quality Standards in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said, “You should not rely solely on thermography for the screening or diagnosis of breast cancer.”
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.”
The Boston Globe (10/24, McCluskey) reports Massachusetts General Hospital recently “became the first US hospital to launch use of a new mammography system” developed by General Electric that “is designed to make the experience more comfortable” by using a “hand-held remote that allows patients – not the medical professional administering the test – to control the level of pressure they feel during the exam.” The FDA approved the device in September “after finding that it did not lead to lower-quality images or significantly increase exam times.”
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.”