MITA Disappointed by USPSTF Final Recommendations for Breast Cancer Screening

01.12.16

Washington, D.C. – The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) today expressed disappointment with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) final recommendations for breast cancer screening.

“Mammography is essential for early detection of breast cancer, and access to this vital screening tool has been proven time and time again to save lives,” said Patrick Hope, MITA’s Executive Director. “We are disappointed that the Task Force failed to take this evidence into account when evaluating the benefits of this technology, but we are hopeful that the two-year moratorium Congress has placed on the final recommendations creates an opportunity to better address the health needs of women.”

In the January 19th issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, USPSTF recommends biennial screening mammography for women ages 50 to 74 years and holds that individual circumstances should dictate mammography screenings for women ages 40 to 49 years. However, provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 place a two-year moratorium on implementation of these recommendations, allowing more time for alignment on breast cancer screening guidelines and ensuring continued access to life-saving breast cancer screening without coverage restrictions or burdensome cost-sharing.

While the American College of Radiology (ACR), the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI), and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) continue to recommend annual mammograms beginning at age 40, the American Cancer Society (ACS) now recommends that women with an average risk of breast cancer receive annual mammograms by age 45 and biennial mammograms beginning at age 55. MITA is concerned that the discord between the various breast cancer screening guidelines may create confusion among patients and physicians, or worse, discourage women from seeking appropriate screenings.

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The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of NEMA, is the collective voice of medical imaging equipment, radiation therapy and radiopharmaceutical manufacturers, innovators and product developers. It represents companies whose sales comprise more than 90 percent of the global market for medical imaging technology. For more information, visit www.medicalimaging.org. Follow MITA on Twitter @MITAToday.