Public Release: 

More than 85 percent of surgeons disregard USPSTF breast screening recommendation

Breast and general surgeons still advocate annual screenings for average-risk patients

American Roentgen Ray Society

TORONTO, April 21, 2015--The vast majority of surgeons continue to recommend that women 40 years old or older with an average risk for breast cancer be screened annually for the disease, despite a 2009

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation that such women be screened biennially beginning at 50 years old and continuing through age 74.

A team of researchers studying the efficacy of policy recommendations on practicing surgeons found that 88% of breast surgeons and 82% of general surgeons continue to recommend annual mammography for women with an average risk of developing breast cancer. An even greater percentage--93%--reported that they began or would begin annual screenings for themselves at age 40.

"We found that the majority of surveyed breast surgeons advocate and personally follow the screening mammography recommendations of the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, and the Society of Breast Imaging, instead of those of the USPSTF," said coauthor Vilert Loving, director of breast imaging at the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center. Coauthors Jiyon Lee (NYU Cancer Institute) and Elaine Tanaka (VA San Diego Healthcare System and UC San Diego School of Medicine) added, "As we anticipate the USPSTF's impending guidelines this year, the public should know that the physicians who diagnose and treat women with breast cancer still believe in annual mammography starting at age 40 for average-risk women."

The study was presented today at the ARRS 2015 Annual Meeting in Toronto.

View the abstract

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