Managed Care

 

Does Mammography Screening Need to Start Earlier?

MANAGED CARE November 2013. © MediMedia USA
News & Commentary

Does Mammography Screening Need to Start Earlier?

The 2009 recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that routine mammography screening begin at 50 did not put the issue to rest. In fact, it pushed it to the front lines of the debate about overtesting and overscreening, where it has remained.

Now comes a study in the journal Cancer reporting that more than two-thirds of breast cancer deaths occur in younger women who have either never had a mammogram or had them at intervals of two years or more.

The study, “A Failure Analysis of Invasive Breast Cancer,” published online in September, states, “To maximize mortality reduction and life-years gained, initiation of regular screening before age 50 years should be encouraged.”

The authors know they are throwing water on a grease fire: “In the presence of conflicting evidence, national recommendations for screening mammography have become a point of contention.”

They looked at 7,300 women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1990 and 1999 and tracked them until 2007.

Of the 609 deaths from breast cancer, 71% had not been screened or had been screened at intervals of two or more years. The median age of diagnosis for fatal cancer was 49. The median age for women who died of other causes was 72.

Meetings

2014 Annual HEDIS® and Star Ratings Symposium Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
PCMH & Shared Savings ACO Leadership Summit Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
Medicare Risk Adjustment, Revenue Management, & Star Ratings Fort Lauderdale, FL November 12–14, 2014
World Orphan Drug Congress Europe 2014 Brussels, Belgium November 12–14, 2014
Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Forum Alexandria, VA November 13–14, 2014
Home Care Leadership Summit Atlanta, GA November 17–18, 2014
6th Semi-Annual Diagnostic Coverage and Reimbursement Conference Boston December 4–5, 2014
Customer Analytics & Engagement in Health Insurance Chicago December 4–5, 2014
Pharmaceutical and Biotech Clinical Quality Assurance Conference Alexandria, VA December 4–5, 2014
9th Semi-Annual Medical Device Coverage and Reimbursement Conference San Diego December 5, 2014
8th Annual Medical Device Clinical Trials Conference Chicago December 8–9, 2014
HealthIMPACT Southeast Tampa, FL January 23, 2015