Study: Increased Use Of Mammograms To Screen For Breast Cancer Has Not Saved Lives

Tuesday, July 7, 2015
The Los Angeles Times (7/7, Kaplan) “Science Now” blog reports that research published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that “the increased use of mammograms to screen for breast cancer has subjected more women to invasive medical treatments but has not saved lives.” Investigators “examined data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry.”       

Members Of House GOP Doctors Caucus Want To Stop USPSTF From Finalizing Draft Recommendation On Mammography

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Congressional Quarterly (7/1, Young, Subscription Publication) reports that “members of the House GOP Doctors Caucus... want to stop the United States Preventive Services Task Force from finalizing its draft recommendation on mammography.” In a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, they wrote, “Should the USPSTF recommendations become finalized, they will have a chilling effect on coverage for diagnostic mammograms, jeopardizing the health of American women.” 

Physicians Concerned About USPSTF’s New Mammogram Guidelines

Thursday, June 25, 2015
The Los Angeles Daily News (6/24) reports physicians “say more women are becoming confused by federal guidelines that tell them that if they are not at risk and under 50, they don’t need mammograms or other cancer-prevention screenings.” Last month, the US Preventive Services Task Force “released draft recommendations on mammograms for women that include letter grades beside each guideline. For example, they issued a ‘B’ grade for mammograms every two years for women 50 to 74 years old but a ‘C’ for mammography for women younger than 50.” While the guidelines are still under review, “physicians say aside from adding to the public’s confusion about preventive screening, the recommendations that receive ‘C’ grades could lead to insurance companies dropping coverage of mammograms for women under 50.” 

Most Women With Early Breast Cancer Undergo Imaging Tests To See Whether The Disease Has Spread, Despite Recommendations Against Such Tests

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Reuters (6/22, Doyle) reports that research (6/22) published in CMAJ suggests that approximately 90% of women who have early breast cancer undergo imaging tests to see whether the disease has spread, even though groups such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology recommend against such tests. 

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