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USPSTF finalizes new breast cancer screening recommendations that ACR says ‘do not go far enough’

Statement from Stamatia Destounis, MD, FACR
Elizabeth Wende Breast Care

USPSTF finalizes new breast cancer screening recommendations that ACR says ‘do not go far enough’.

The updated recommendations for the USPSTF (United States Preventive Services Task Force) are a good start in recommending screening mammograms to start at age 40. However, they don’t go far enough in recommending yearly screening but continue to recommend mammograms on a biennial (every two years). They also stopped short of recommending mammograms in patients aged 75 and over, claiming there is insufficient evidence, and they state they found insufficient evidence in supporting supplemental screening with breast ultrasound or breast MRI, for, e.g., in patients with dense breasts on mammography.

We believe this is at least a start in moving toward informing patients of the importance of life-saving screening and starting at 40 for average-risk patients. We are disappointed in the insufficient evidence rating for patients ages 75 and older, as we know the incidence of breast cancer increases with age. 

We are also disappointed that the USPST does not recognize that women with dense breast tissue are at increased risk for breast cancer due to the masking effect and also the inherent risk associated with dense breast tissue and, therefore, do not support supplemental screening with US or MRI. It is unfortunate as several studies have shown increased cancer detection by using supplemental screening along with digital mammography or digital breast tomosynthesis. 

You can read more about the final recommendations in JAMA and Radiology Business.





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