News You Can Use
Dear Women’s Health Team and Partners,

Today an important new study on the value of screening, “Failure Analysis of Invasive Breast Cancer Most Deaths From Disease Occur in Women Not Regularly Screened,” was published in Cancer, the scientific journal of the American Cancer Society. The authors were researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Harvard Medical School, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The study found that most deaths from breast cancer occur in unscreened women. To maximize mortality reduction and life-years gained, initiation of regular screening before age 50 years should be encouraged. Regular screening increases the likelihood of detecting nonpalpable cancers, and annual screening further increases that likelihood relative to biennial screening. Furthermore, detecting and treating breast cancer in younger women to prevent death may further increase the disease-free life years saved.

The study was published online in advance of press and was covered this morning by NBC, ABC and AuntMinnie. We expect it to continue to get significant coverage as we enter into Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The use of mammograms to prevent breast cancer deaths has been controversial since the United States Preventive Services Task Force misguided proposal in 2009 to limit screening to women aged 50 to 74 years. If you’re asked, what is the right answer? When should a woman be screened?

Breast Cancer screening should start at 40, sometimes earlier, and screening should continue every year.

Here are links to the position statements of key healthcare organizations supporting the start at 40 position.

American Medical Association
American College of Radiology and the Society for Breast Imaging
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Susan G. Komen

Thank you,

Jim Culley, PhD
Senior Director
Corporate Marketing
Work: 781-999-7583
Mobile: 302-528-1312