Public Release: 

Opportunities to reduce patient burden associated with breast cancer screening

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News


IMAGE: Journal of Women's Health, published monthly, is a core multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the diseases and conditions that hold greater risk for or are more prevalent among women, as well... view more

Credit: ©2014 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, September 23, 2014--New technology and better screening strategies can lower the rate of false-positive results, which impose a substantial financial and psychological burden on women. The many misperceptions about breast cancer screening options and risks, the benefits and costs of screening, and the need for new approaches and better education are discussed in a series of articles in a supplement to Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The supplement is available free on the Journal of Women's Health website at

In the article "The Patient Burden of Screening Mammography Recall," the authors report that among more than 1.7 million women aged 40-75 years who underwent screening mammography and were not diagnosed with breast cancer, 15% were recalled for further testing. The cumulative risk of a false-positive result after 10 years of annual screening mammograms is an estimated 61%. Coauthors Matthew Alcusky, PharmD, MS, Janice Clarke, RN, BBA, and Alexandria Skoufalos, EdD, Jefferson School of Population Health; Liane Philpotts, MD, FSBI, Yale University School of Medicine; and Machaon Bonafede, PhD, MPH, Truven Health Analytics, evaluate the direct cost burden of recall, the indirect costs associated with missed work time, travel, and substitute caregivers, for example, and the physical or psychological effects of a false-positive result, which may include unnecessary anxiety and reduced quality of life.

In an accompanying review article on "Understanding Patient Options, Utilization Patterns and Burdens Associated with Breast Cancer Screening," authors Susan C. Harvey, MD, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions; Sharon Mass, MD, FACOG, Morristown Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates; and Ashok Vegesna, PharmD, Janice Clarke, RN, BBA, and Alexandria Skoufalos, EdD, Jefferson School of Population Health, attribute much of the confusion women face in making informed decisions about breast cancer screening and recall options to a lack of consensus among the organizations developing screening guidelines and the mixed messages they deliver. The authors call for a more thoughtful approach to breast cancer screening and research that takes into account the tangible and intangible costs that women now bear.

"The articles in this supplement are timely and reveal surprisingly complex issues," says Susan C. Harvey, MD, in her Editorial, "The Charge and the Challenges of Breast Cancer Screening." Collectively, the articles "illustrate the need for a more tailored approach to breast cancer awareness, education, and screening. The goal is to make appropriate screening and diagnosis easier on women and more responsive to the changing face of value-based health care."

"The direct and indirect cost burden of inconclusive mammography screenings and recalls is significant and indicates a need for new approaches to breast cancer screening," says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health.


The supplement was funded by an educational grant from Hologic, Inc.®

About the Journal

Journal of Women's Health, published monthly, is a core multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the diseases and conditions that hold greater risk for or are more prevalent among women, as well as diseases that present differently in women. The Journal covers the latest advances and clinical applications of new diagnostic procedures and therapeutic protocols for the prevention and management of women's healthcare issues. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Women's Health website at Journal of Women's Health is the official journal of the Academy of Women's Health and the Society for Women's Health Research.

About the Society

Academy of Women's Health is an interdisciplinary, international association of physicians, nurses, and other health professionals who work across the broad field of women's health, providing its members with up-to-date advances and options in clinical care that will enable the best outcomes for their women patients. The Academy's focus includes the dissemination of translational research and evidence-based practices for disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of women across the lifespan.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Population Health Management, Journal of Gynecologic Surgery, Journal of Men's Health, LGBT Health, and Breastfeeding Medicine. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website at

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
140 Huguenot Street, New Rochelle, NY 10801
Phone: (914) 740-2100
Fax (914) 740-2101

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