Until Science Improves, Current Screening Recommendations Should Remain, World’s Leading Breast Cancer Organization Reports
DALLAS – Nov. 16, 2009 – Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s leading breast cancer advocacy organization, has carefully reviewed the data and new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concerning mammography screening. Komen for the Cure issued the following statement today from Eric P. Winer, M.D., chief scientific advisor and chair of Komen’s Scientific Advisory Board.
“Susan G. Komen for the Cure wants to eliminate any impediments to regular mammography screening for women age 40 and older. While there is no question that mammograms save lives for women over 50 and women 40–49, there is enough uncertainty about the age at which mammography should begin and the frequency of screening that we would not want to see a change in policy for screening mammography at this time. Komen’s current screening guidelines can be found at www.komen.org and would not be changed without serious consideration.
Our real focus, however, should be on the fact that one-third of the women who qualify for screening under today’s guidelines are not being screened due to lack of access, education or awareness. That issue needs focus and attention: if we can make progress with screening in vulnerable populations, we could make more progress in the fight against breast cancer.
Mammography is not perfect, but is still our best tool for early detection and successful treatment of this disease. New screening approaches and more individualized recommendations for breast cancer screening are urgently needed. Susan G. Komen for the Cure is currently funding research initiatives designed to improve screening, and we believe that it is imperative that this research move forward rapidly. Komen also provides funding for more than 1,900 education, awareness and screening programs.
We encourage women to be aware of their breast health, understand their risks, and continue to follow existing recommendations for routine screenings including mammography beginning at age 40.”