The American College of Radiology has criticized a new set of breast-cancer screening recommendations from a federal advisory board that suggest women ages 40 to 49 with no family history or predisposition for breast cancer no longer undergo routine mammography.
Radiologists criticize new mammogram guidelines
In a news release, the radiology trade group said the recommendations were created without input from radiologists, and that the suggestions could reverse a two-decade decline in breast cancer mortalities if clinicians and insurance companies adopt them as guidelines.
The recommendations, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, were developed by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force after review and analysis of eight clinical trials on breast-cancer screening and survival rates. The independent advisory group, made up of primary-care physicians, found that while mammography screening reduced breast cancer rates by 15% in women ages 39 to 49, false-positive results and overdiagnosis of existing breast cancers were more likely to occur in women under 50.
In addition to advising that women delay mammography screenings until age 50, the new recommendations also suggested women ages 50 to 74 only undergo mammograms every two years. The advisory board also found no clinical evidence that the test was beneficial to women over age 74.
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