Members of House Committee Say They Want USPSTF to Invite More Input to Ensure Guidance is Independent, Unbiased

Friday, December 2, 2016

Modern Healthcare (11/30, Johnson, Subscription Publication) reports that yesterday, “members of a House committee...said they want the US Preventive Services Task Force to invite more input to ensure its guidance, which can influence how much an insurer pays for preventive services, is independent and unbiased.” In “hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, GOP lawmakers took turns expressing concern that patient access was being affected by the panel’s efforts to control costs.” According to Modern Healthcare, “Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)...co-sponsored a bill that would require USPSTF to ‘include balanced representation of practicing primary and specialty care providers.’” Modern Healthcare points out that the USPSTF breast cancer screening guidelines differ from recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Radiology.

Researchers Work on Measure to Decide if Mammogram is Compromised by Breast Density

Thursday, December 1, 2016

HealthImaging (11/29, Maglaya) reports on a study presented at a radiology conference by James G. Mainprize, PhD, and colleagues who developed “a quantitative, objective measure of masking” in order to describe “the probability of missing a cancer (if present)” in a mammogram “due to the amount and patterns of dense tissue in the breast.” The researchers hope that the measure “could serve as an important tool” in determining whether a mammogram for “an individual woman is compromised due to breast density.” 

Study Finds “One in Six” Breast Cancer Patients “Have Symptoms Other Than Lumps”

Thursday, December 1, 2016

NBC Nightly News (11/29, story 8, 2:00, Holt) reported on a study finding that among breast cancer patients, “one in six patients have symptoms other than lumps which can be more difficult to identify.” NBC (Dahlgren) described the case of Beth Laflor, a nurse who works as a lactation consultant, who noticed “changes to the shape of her breast” but received a negative mammogram. She sought a second opinion and “more imaging showed stage three breast cancer, beneath dense breast tissue.” Women are advised to be aware of “changes to the nipple, armpit, any pain, and changes to the skin or shape.” 

Study Finds Tomosynthesis Reduces Recall Rates, Increases Detection of Cancer in Younger Women

Thursday, December 1, 2016

MedPage Today (11/29, Susman) reports on a study presented at a radiology conference finding “the addition of tomosynthesis to mammography provided better screening performance and lower recall rates, as well as higher invasive cancer detection in younger women.” The study found a 6 percent decrease in recalls with tomosynthesis, with “a relative increase in invasive cancer detection of 67%.” The study was based on “65,457 screening examinations among women under age 50.” 

DBT May Be Effective Breast Cancer Screening Tool for Women of All Ages, Study Suggests

Thursday, December 1, 2016
Aunt Minnie (11/28, Yee) reports that research suggests “digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is an effective breast cancer screening tool for women of all ages – including those younger than 50, who may be prone to a higher rate of false positives.” The findings were presented at the RSNA annual meeting