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ACR and SBI issue statement on British Medical Journal article on effect of mammography on breast cancer death rates

The American College of Radiology and society of Breast Imaging, two top breast cancer screening expert organizations in the United States, today issued a statement on a controversial study published in the most recent issue of the British Medical Journal which claimed that there is no evidence that mammography served a direct role in reducing breast cancer deaths in European countries where screening has been implemented.

The ACR and SBI stated, "These conclusions have little bearing on, or resemblance to, screening in the United States where mammographys life-saving impact is well documented." The two organizations cite the sudden increase in breast cancer incidence seen in U.S. national statistics and abrupt decrease in breast cancer deaths that began shortly after screening became widespread in the mid-1980s and early 1990s. The American breast cancer death rate had remained largely unchanged for 50 years prior to the introduction of mammography screening. The joint statement also lists scientific shortcomings of the paper which may have contributed to the papers curious findings.

Both organizations continue to recommend that women age 40 and over should continue getting annual mammograms.


Contact: Shawn Farley
American College of Radiology

Page: 1

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