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Moffitt Cancer Center researchers discuss new frontiers in breast cancer screening
Date:4/4/2013

Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center predict that advancements in breast cancer screening will need a personalized touch because mammography is not a "one strategy fits all" technology.

Their review "Beyond Mammography: New Frontiers in Breast Cancer Screening" appears in the April 4 issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

"Although mammography remains the gold standard for breast cancer screening, there is increasing awareness that there are subpopulations of women for whom mammography is limited because of its reduced sensitivity based on an individual's breast density and other factors," said study lead author Jennifer S. Drukteinis, M.D., assistant member in Moffitt's Department of Diagnostic Imaging.

The writers refer to a controversial disagreement on mammography screening issues. In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a panel of health care professionals charged with reviewing published research and making health care policy recommendations, issued guidelines that women should get mammograms every two years starting at age 50. They recommended against screening before 50. Their recommendation generated great controversy, even outrage, because of a well-established convention recommending mammography screening beginning at 40 and, for those with a first-degree relative with breast cancer, screening should start a decade before that relative's age at diagnosis.

"At present, the task force is the only group or consensus panel in the United States recommending breast cancer screenings to begin at age 50," said study co-author Blaise P. Mooney, M.D., an assistant member in Moffitt's Department of Diagnostic Imaging. "There is, however, clear evidence that mammography detects early breast cancers in this population. Data suggest that large-scale screening reduces mortality."

As effective as mammography has been, the authors consider it an imperfect screening tool.

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Contact: Kim Polacek
kim.polacek@moffitt.org
813-745-7408
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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