Syracuse radiologist, Stephen Montgomery, M.D., who is also the medical director for Crouse Hospital Breast Health Center, believes that recent Task Force recommendations about mammograms — imaging studies used to detect breast cancer — are “complicated.”
Earlier this week, the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force recommended that women over age 50 undergo mammograms every-other-year. It also recommended against breast self-examinations. Both recommendations could lead to a rise in the number of undiagnosed breast cancer cases. The Task Force’s findings conflict with the American Cancer Society’s recommendations that women learn breast self-examination at or about age 20, and that they undergo mammograms yearly beginning at age 40.
The Task Force recommendations may discourage many women from receiving timely imaging studies that could detect breast cancer early. The recommendations may also confuse physicians, and could lead to an increase in medical malpractice due to a failure to diagnose breast cancer.
According to Dr. Montgomery, “[b]reast cancers are going to show up later, at a higher stage.” That means “a higher mortality.”
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