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Wednesday, Dec. 2: News From the 95th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago

CHICAGO, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Expert Panel to Discuss Screening Mammography Guidelines Controversy

A special press briefing will be held Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 10:45 a.m. CT (11:45 a.m. ET), featuring a panel of top experts who will discuss the recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) release of revised screening mammography guidelines. Many patients, breast cancer survivors, medical experts and government authorities dispute the guidelines as being without scientific evidence. Most importantly, according to many experts, the guidelines would cause unnecessary deaths. This panel of experts will present data to refute the validity of the USPSTF recommendations.


95th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, Room E252, Lakeside Center, McCormick Place, Chicago

Attendees must be registered as press through the RSNA Newsroom. Call 312-949-3233 to pre-register or register onsite at the Newsroom, McCormick Place Lakeside Center, Level 2, Hall E.

  • Mary C. Mahoney, M.D., Director of Breast Imaging, University of Cincinnati Medical Center; Vice Chair, RSNA Public Information Committee
  • W. Phil Evans, M.D., Director, Center for Breast Care, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; President, Society of Breast Imaging
  • Stephen A. Feig, M.D., Professor of Radiology, University of California Irvine School of Medicine; President-Elect, American Society of Breast Disease
  • Daniel B. Kopans, M.D., Senior Radiologist, Breast Imaging Division, Massachusetts General Hospital; Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

USPSTF recently released guidelines that fly in the face of evidence that mammography screening for women over 40 saves lives. The new guidelines recommend that women begin screening at age 50, and then every two years rather than annually, finally eliminating breast cancer screening entirely at age 75. Leading health organizations, including American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology, Society of Breast Imaging, and patient advocacy group Susan G. Komen for the Cure among others, dispute the guidelines and urge women to continue getting annual mammograms beginning at age 40. Numerous studies have proven the benefits of annual mammograms. Deaths from breast cancer have decreased by 30 percent since 1990, when mammography screening beginning at age 40 became more widespread. In a recent message to American women, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged the worry these guidelines have incited and added, "Mammograms have always been an important live-saving tool in the fight against breast cancer and they still are today."

Also on Wednesday:

Targeted Breast Ultrasound Can Reduce Biopsies for Women under Forty (10 a.m. ET)

Two studies from the University of Washington have found that targeted breast ultrasound of suspicious areas of the breast, including lumps, is a safe, reliable and cost-effective alternative to invasive biopsies for women under age 40. The first study included 1,123 ultrasound examinations of women under age 30, while the second included 1,577 ultrasound examinations of women ages 30 to 39. Across both studies, all instances of cancer at the site of the clinical concern were positively identified through targeted ultrasound. In addition, all negative ultrasound findings correctly identified benign changes in the breast. This presentation will be given by Constance D. Lehman, M.D., Ph.D.

Outpatient Disc Treatment Gives Long-Term Back Pain Relief (10:30 a.m. ET)

A randomized, controlled study from the University of Athens compared standard conservative therapy to a minimally invasive treatment for sciatica caused by herniated discs and found that both treatments help patients in the short run, but only percutaneous disc decompression kept patients pain free up to two years later. One patient first group received six weeks of therapy consisting of analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants. A second group underwent disc decompression. Both patient groups showed initial improvement. However, one year and two years after treatment, patients who had undergone disc decompression continued to improve, while the other patients reported that their pain had returned and their mobility had decreased. This study will be presented by Alexios Kelekis, M.D., Ph.D.

Annual Screening with Breast Ultrasound or MRI Could Benefit Some Women (11 a.m. ET)

The latest findings from the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) 6666 clinical trial funded by the Avon Foundation and the National Cancer Institute provide the first strong evidence of the benefit of annual screening ultrasound for women with dense breasts who are at elevated risk for breast cancer. In addition, the study confirmed that MRI is highly sensitive in depicting early breast cancer. The researchers studied 612 women, mean age 55 years, at elevated risk of breast cancer. Over the course of the study, 50 to 56 percent of cancers were shown on mammography. Adding ultrasound allowed detection of 70 to 94 percent of cancers. Adding MRI allowed for detection of additional cancers at their earliest stage. Both ultrasound and MRI increased the risk of false-positive findings. This study will be presented by Wendie A. Berg, M.D., Ph.D.

SOURCE Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)

SOURCE Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)
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