Monday, December 21, 2009

Rebutting the Mammography Rationers

As many readers know, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently issued a controversial statement recommending that screening mammography be restricted to women between ages 50-74.

This is at variance with the standard recommendations from the American Cancer Society and American College of Radiology recommendations that women begin screening at age 40 and continue as long as they are in good health.

The political implications have already been discussed elsewhere.

For those who are interested in some detailed scientific rebuttals of the USPSTF rules, here are a few helpful references:

"The importance of mammograms"
Lora Barke, Denver Post, November 20, 2009

(Lora D. Barke, D.O., is the medical director of the Invision Sally Jobe Breast Network and one of my practice partners.)

"American Cancer Society Responds to Changes to USPSTF Mammography Guidelines"
November 16, 2009

"Why the critics of screening mammography are wrong"
Daniel Kopans, Diagnostic Imaging, December 4, 2009

(Daniel B. Kopans, M.D., is a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and a senior radiologist in the breast imaging division at Massachusetts General Hospital.)

"Frequently Asked Questions about Mammography and the USPSTF Recommendations: A Guide for Practitioners"
Wendie Berg, MD, PhD, R. Edward Hendrick, PhD, Daniel Kopans, MD, and Robert Smith, PhD

Society of Breast Imaging, December 11, 2009

(Berg - American Radiology Services, Johns Hopkins Green Spring, Lutherville, MD; Hendrick - Department of Radiology, University of Colorado, Denver, CO;
Kopans - Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University School of Medicine, Boston, MA; Smith - Cancer Control Sciences Department, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA)