The Los Angeles Times (5/3, Kaplan) reports on research into identifying women who may be susceptible to fast-developing tumors that turn up in the “interval between regular screenings.” After reviewing the cases of 306,028 women who got mammograms between 2011 and 2014, the researchers found “no significant association between breast density and the risk of a poor prognosis,” nor with family history, however, “women in their 40s were 3.5 times more likely to get this bad news than women in their 70s or 80s.” Their findings were published in JAMA Oncology.
The AP (5/2) reports that yesterday, Jeremy Hunt, “Britain’s health minister, apologized...for what he called a ‘serious failure’ that resulted in hundreds of thousands of women in England not being invited to a screening test for breast cancer.” He “said...in Parliament that the mistake appeared to be the result of a ‘computer algorithm failure’ dating back to 2009.”
The Washington Post (5/2, Erickson) reports, “Hunt told lawmakers that all of the women who should have received a screening will get a letter by the end of May, urging them to come in for an appointment.”
CNN (5/2, Senthilingam) reports, “Early indications suggested that between 135 and 270 women had their lives shortened as a result of the error, Hunt said.” Also covering the story are BBC News Online (UK) (5/2), U.S. News & World Report (5/2, Lardieri), Reuters (5/2, Shirbon), the Telegraph (UK) (5/2, Donnelly, McCann), and The Guardian (UK) (5/2, Elgot).
The Radiology Business Journal (5/2, Walter) reports, “Adding digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) to digital mammography (DM) in the prevalent screening round of a breast cancer screening program leads to a reduced recall rate and improved reader confidence.” The findings were published in Clinical Radiology.
Diagnostic Imaging (5/1) reports a retrospective review by researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, the American College of Radiology, and Stanford University School of Medicine suggests “use of category 4 subdivisions in diagnostic mammography allowed for positive predictive value for biopsies performed (PPV3) to specify malignancy ranges.” The findings were published in Radiology.
Aunt Minnie (5/1, Ridley) reports software that calculates breast density can “perform as well as a radiologist and help identify a woman’s future risk of breast cancer,” particularly for the risk of invasive interval cancers, according to research published May 1 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. After conducting a large case-control study, researchers led by Dr. Karla Kerlikowske of the University of California, San Francisco “concluded that automated and clinical breast density assessment methods yielded comparable results for predicting the risk of cancer detected in subsequent mammography screening and, in particular, the risk of interval cancer,” the article says.