Breast Cancer Screening Issue Remains Unresolved

Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media , March 26, 2010

ACR and SBI also criticized the makeup of the USPSTF, which did not include anyone with experience in breast cancer care.

"Allowing a small number of people with no demonstrated expertise in breast cancer care to make recommendations regarding diagnosis of the nation's second leading cancer killer makes no scientific sense, and has set a off a chain of political and clinical events that many women may ultimately pay for with their lives," said James H. Thrall, MD, chair of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors in the ACR/SBI statement. "Lawmakers at all levels need to act now to ensure that these recommendations do no further damage, and that women have full and ready access to mammography."

Women should speak up about this issue, W. Phil Evans, MD, FACR, president of the SBI, said in the statement.

"Doctors, payers, and patients should disregard the USPSTF recommendations and continue to follow recommendations set forth by the American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology, and Society of Breast Imaging," said Evans.

ACR also wants federal and state legislators to officially exclude USPSTF mammography recommendations from coverage decisions by federal and state insurance programs.

State and federal legislators should act to ensure that public and private insurance companies cannot deny mammography coverage to women based USPSTF recommendations, the organizations said.

Freelancer Kelly Bilodeau contributed to this report. E-mail her at

Dom Nicastro is a contributing writer. He edits the Medical Records Briefings newsletter and manages the HIPAA Update Blog.

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