02:17pm Thursday 21 September 2017

Annual Mammography Screening Should Continue to Be Covered at Age 40, says Mayo Clinic

 

    VIDEO ALERT: Additional audio and video resources, including excerpts from an interview with Dr. Pruthi describing the research, are available on the Mayo Clinic News Blog or on the Mayo Clinic News page.

Mayo Clinic has continued to recommend annual screening at 40, however, acknowledges that women need to be informed about its benefits, risks and limitations.

“Evidence continues to support the role of mammograms in reducing breast cancer mortality — they are the best screening tool available today,” says Sandhya Pruthi, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic’s Breast Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

“To address the concerns raised by the USPSTF regarding the false positives associated with screening mammograms, more emphasis needs to be placed on improving accuracy of mammograms, referrals to breast imaging centers where digital mammograms and core needle biopsies are available — and patients need to receive timely and coordinated care to alleviate anxiety.

Individualized risk assessment may be the next step in deciding who is at increased risk and when and how often screening should occur. Health care providers need risk assessment tools designed for individualized risk, not population risk.”

Ongoing research at Mayo Clinic is studying ways to improve breast cancer risk stratification. Dr. Pruthi says further research is also critical to better understand tumor biology and to develop biomarkers or tests for early detection.

“We also need better ways to communicate risk and help patients understand how to weigh the risks versus benefits of screening mammograms,” she says. “An amendment in the health care bill to provide coverage for annual mammography screening is important and would certainly maintain our ability to provide quality preventive care to women.”

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About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of “the needs of the patient come first.” More than 3,700 physicians, scientists and researchers, and 50,100 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has campuses in Rochester, Minn; Jacksonville, Fla; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.; and community-based providers in more than 70 locations in southern Minnesota., western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. These locations treat more than half a million people each year. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to www.mayoclinic.org/news. For information about research and education, visit www.mayo.edu. MayoClinic.com (www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your health stories.


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