Adding Ultrasound To Mammography May Improve Breast Cancer Detection Rates In Japanese Women

Friday, November 6, 2015
Medscape (11/6, Nelson) reports that research suggests that “adding ultrasound to mammography screening tests could improve rates of breast cancer detection in Japanese women.” Investigators found that “combining ultrasound with mammography resulted in correctly detecting cancer in more than 9 of 10 cases (91% sensitivity), whereas for women given mammography alone, just more than three quarters of tests correctly identified breast cancer (77% sensitivity).” Medscape adds that the findings “are important because mammography screening alone may not be sufficient for screening Asian women, owing to the fact that they characteristically have higher-density breasts than women of other ethnicities and because breast cancer tends to present at an earlier age in Japan than in Europe or the” US. The findings were published online in the Lancet. 

SBI members continue to respond to the American Cancer Society's breast screening guidelines:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

SBI Fellow, Peter R. Eby, MD, Virginia Mason University, writes about how to understand the ACS breast cancer screening guidelines and answers frequently asked questions about mammography in a column published on The Fremocentrist.  

SBI Member, Anne C. Hoyt, MD, Medical Director of Breast Imaging at UCLA, wrote an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times about why women should still regularly get mammograms. She wrote, "Clearly, women at high risk for developing breast cancer should be screened annually, but the flip-side assumption that women with no identifiable risk factors should be screened less frequently is incorrect."

SBI Fellow, Michael Linver, MD, told the Tribune-Star in Terre Haute, Indiana, the ACS has sent a confusing message to womenabout when to begin annual screenings. He says, "For these women to have the opportunity to have the breast cancer found when it was highly curable, versus when it’s not highly curable, is criminal to me.”

High-Volume Mammography Facilities More Likely To Diagnose Invasive Tumors With Good Prognoses

Wednesday, November 4, 2015
HealthImaging (11/4, Godt) reports, “Women looking to maximize their benefits from breast cancer screening would be wise to seek out a facility with high mammography interpretive volume,” a study published in the Journal of Medical Screening suggests. After “examining annual interpretive volumes at 116 facilities participating in the US Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium,” investigators found that “high-volume facilities are significantly more likely to diagnose invasive tumors with good prognoses, meaning they were caught early enough to maximize treatment effectiveness.” 

What do the new breast cancer screening guidelines recommend about when to start yearly mammograms?

Monday, November 2, 2015
SBI Board Member, Debra Monticciolo, MD, breaks down the new ACS guidelines by explaining what has changed and why annual mammograms beginning at age 40 are recommended in an article published in The Conversation. She writes, "In translation: the ACS does not recommend abandoning beginning mammography screening at age 40. Their findings suggest that the majority of women would and should choose this option and be screened annually starting at age 40."

Sandra Lee: I'm cancer-free thanks to early detection

Monday, November 2, 2015
TV personality, author and philanthropist Sandra Lee criticizes the American Cancer Society's guidelines for breast cancer screening in an Op-Ed published in the New York Post. She writes, "how, in good conscience, can anyone be expected to look at a daughter, a niece, a sister or a friend and tell them to take their chances until they are 45? Not me — not my family. These new guidelines will almost surely cost some women their lives." Lee is a breast cancer survivor and underwent a double mastectomy in May.