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USPSTF Mammography Recommendations Should Be Specifically Excluded From Health Care Reform Legislation
Date:11/24/2009

ost years of life, the Task Force recommended against: mammography screening for women 40-49 years of age, annual mammograms for women between 50 and 74 (in favor of only every other year), and all breast cancer screening in women over 74. These recommendations run counter to even the Task Force's own data and are out of touch with the long-proven policies of the American Cancer Society, ACR and other experts in the field.

"I strongly urge those in Congress to exclude the USPSTF guidelines from health care legislation and make changes to the Task Force membership and operating process that will guard against such unacceptable recommendations moving forward without any input from experts in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment," said W. Phil Evans, M.D., FACR, president of the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI).

Since the onset of regular mammography screening in 1990, the mortality rate from breast cancer, which had been unchanged for the preceding 50 years, has decreased by 30 percent. Ignoring direct scientific evidence from large clinical trials, the USPSTF based their recommendations to reduce breast cancer screening on conflicting computer models and the unsupported and discredited idea that the parameters of mammography screening change abruptly at age 50. In truth, there are no data to support this premise.

"Allowing a small number of people with no demonstrated expertise in the subject matter to make recommendations regarding diagnosis of a disease which kills more than 40,000 women each year makes no scientific sense and is a mistake that many women will pay for with their lives. Lawmakers need to require that the USPSTF include experts from the field on which they are making recommendations, and that its recommendations be submitted for comment and review to outside stakeholders in similar fashion to rules enacted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services," said Thrall.

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Related medicine news :

1. Statement by the Scientific Advisory Board of the Patient Advocate Foundation/National Patient Advocate Foundation on Changes to the USPSTF Mammography Guidelines
2. Maurer Foundation for Breast Health Education Statement on USPSTF Guidelines for Mammography
3. USPSTF mammography recommendations will result in countless unnecessary breast cancer deaths each year
4. Breaking Through the Mammography Controversy
5. Task Force Member Defends Mammography Guidelines
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