US radiologists urge under 50 status quo
Posted by: Anonymous User (IP Logged)
Date: November 25, 2009 01:08PM
THE American college of radiologists (ACR) has urged providers and patients to continue to follow current screening mammography guidelines, after “recommendations” that women under the age of 50 will no longer be screened for breast cancer.
The US preventive services task force came out against routine screening mammography for women ages 40-49 not at increased risk for breast cancer and clinical breast exam, recommends biennial versus annual screening mammography in women ages 50-74, and no screening for women over the age of 75.
The ACR said “confusion continues to grow” now. “Women are wondering if their mammograms will now be covered by their insurance company and radiology practices are beginning to receive calls from women who want to cancel their scheduled yearly mammogram,” said.
“We would like to stress that the task force recommendations issued were just that – recommendations.”
It is stressed there will be no change in medicare and medicaid coverage for mammography.
The ACR said it will continue to aggressively advocate for adherence to the current ACS guidelines at the national level. The ACR is also “on alert” for any changes that private insurance payers might make based on these recommendations.
SHORT-TERM follow-up is a reasonable alternative to invasive biopsy of palpable (capable of being touched or felt) breast lesions with benign imaging features, particularly in younger women with probable fibroadenoma (non-cancerous tumors that often occur in women during their reproductive years), according to a new study in the American journal of roentgenology.
The study, performed at the university of Virginia, consisted of a group of 320 women with 375 palpable masses with benign features for which short-term follow-up was recommended.
“We found that only one case of cancer was diagnosed for which short-term follow-up had been recommended,” said Jennifer Harvey, lead author of the study.
“Our study of palpable breast lesions with benign features showed an acceptably low prevalence of breast cancer - so low that short-term follow-up is a reasonable alternative to biopsy.
“Application of the results of our study may reduce the number of biopsies that result in benign findings. There is also significant cost savings associated with using short-term follow-up rather than immediate biopsy.”