Iowa Radiology Opinion Regarding the United States Preventive Services Task Force:
Update on Screening For Breast Cancer
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Their recommendation is based on a compilation of old data, which did not include digital mammography and breast MRI.
- 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.
- These recommendations shift the burden and cost of mammography onto the patient and provider, causing confusion.
- We at Iowa Radiology support the American College of Radiology's recommendations to begin annual screening mammography at age 40.