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  • Iowa Radiology Opinion Regarding the United States Preventive Services Task Force:
    Update on Screening For Breast Cancer

    1. The American College of Radiology continues to support annual mammography screening beginning at age 40. This is a simple, noninvasive screening test that helps save lives. Of all the models, the greatest mortality reduction was with annual mammograms starting at age 40.
    2. Since 1990, the breast cancer death rate in the US, which had been unchanged for the preceding 50 years, has decreased by 30%, primarily due to screening mammography.
    3. 17% of women diagnosed in their 40s will die of breast cancer.
      22% of women diagnosed in their 50s will die of breast cancer.
      75% of breast cancer is diagnosed in women who have no risk family history.
      Earlier diagnosis saves lives.
      Changing the established guidelines could impact thousands of women in the Des Moines area.
    4. Their recommendation is based on a compilation of old data, which did not include digital mammography and breast MRI.
    5. Mammography, like any test, has it's limitations. However, it is the best tool we have available for detecting breast cancers at earlier stages in a large population. These substantial benefits outweigh the costs.
    6. These recommendations shift the burden and cost of mammography onto the patient and provider, causing confusion.
    7. We at Iowa Radiology support the American College of Radiology's recommendations to begin annual screening mammography at age 40.

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