by Qammar Rashid, MD, Breast Program Director
The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) requires its affiliated programs to “adopt nationally recognized mammography screening guidelines and advise and educate the medical community affiliated with the breast center on the selected guidelines” (Standard 2.8).
The DeKalb Medical Comprehensive Breast Care program has adopted the recommendations published by the American College of Radiology, D. Monticciolo, M. Newell, et al. (2017). “Breast Cancer Screening for Average-Risk Women: Recommendations from the ACR Commission on Breast Imaging.” Journal of the American College of Radiology 2017; 14:1137-1143. Available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2017.06.001.
This recommendation states:
For average-risk women, mammography is the main modality for the early detection of breast cancer. The ACR recommends annual mammographic screening starting at age 40. This recommendation is based on maximizing proven benefits, which include a substantial reduction in breast cancer mortality afforded by regular screening. The risks associated with mammographic screening also are considered to assist women in making an informed choice.
The ACR recommendations, which go into greater detail than the above paragraph, provide six “take-home points”:
- Regular mammographic screening results in a substantial reduction in breast cancer mortality across multiple study designs.
- Annual mammographic screening should begin at age 40 for women at average risk for developing breast cancer.
- The decision to stop screening should not be based on a woman’s age, but on her health status.
- The ACR recommendations allow women to obtain the maximum life-extending benefits and provide improved treatment options for those diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Women should be helped to understand the risks of screening; weighing benefits and risks should be done by women, not for women.
- Over diagnosis should not be a factor in deciding when to start screening or what screening interval to choose.
These recommendations are for average-risk women. Women who are at higher risk for developing breast cancer should begin surveillance at a younger age, and under appropriate conditions should utilize magnetic resonance imaging screening in addition to mammography.
The physician members of the Breast Program Leadership Committee are available to assist you in providing appropriate screening services for your patients who are at higher than average risk for developing breast cancer.
For more information, email Qammar Rashid, MD, Breast Program Director at Qammar.Rashid@dekalbmedical.org.