Aunt Minnie (9/14, Yee) reports that a new study shows that mobile mammography programs are “a move in the right direction, but more work needs to be done to better assist women who make use of mobile mammography,” including to ensure follow-up. At team led by Dr. Madelene Lewis of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston found that its mobile program was “only somewhat successful” in addressing the issues of getting underserved women screened. The study looked at “1,433 screening mammography exams performed in a mobile unit in 2014, and 1,434 exams performed at the university’s cancer center during the same year.” Lewis’ team “recorded associations between the two locations and characteristics such as health insurance, race, marital status, geographic area, adherence to screening guidelines, and recall rates.”
MedPage Today (9/1, Frieden) reported that the Food and Drug Administration “approved a device to allow patients to control the pressure on their breast while undergoing a mammogram.” According to Alberto Gutierrez, PhD, director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, “Regular mammograms are an important tool in detecting breast cancer. However, some patients may experience anxiety or stress about the discomfort from the compression during the mammogram. This device allows patients some control over the amount of compression for their exam.” The Senographe Pristina with Self-Compression device is by GE Healthcare and “employs a handheld wireless remote control that patients use to adjust the compression force after the breast has been positioned.” Additional coverage is provided by Aunt Minnie (9/1).
HealthImaging (8/30, Walter) reports that research suggests “starting annual screening mammography for breast cancer at age 40 helps detect a significant number of cancers.” The article points out that “some advocacy groups, including the American College of Radiology, recommend starting annual screening at age 40, while other groups, such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), recommend women wait and begin biennial screening at age 50.” The study was published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.
Reuters (8/21, Seaman) reports a study published in Cancer found that annual mammograms beginning at the age of 40 would prevent the most deaths due to breast cancer, finding that guidance suggesting yearly screenings could reduce the number of deaths among women aged 40 to 80 by 40 percent compared to a reduction of 23 to 31 percent based on current screening recommendations.