United States Preventive Services Task Force Screening Mammography Recommendations: Science Ignored

Department of Radiology, University of Colorado-Denver, School of Medicine, C278, 12700 E 19th Ave., Aurora, CO 80045, USA.
American Journal of Roentgenology (Impact Factor: 2.73). 02/2011; 196(2):W112-6. DOI: 10.2214/AJR.10.5609
Source: PubMed


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article is to examine the scientific evidence considered by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in recommending against screening mammography in women 40-49 years old and against annual screening mammography in women 50 and older. We use evidence made available to the USPSTF to estimate the benefits and "harms" of screening mammography in women 40 years old and older. We use Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network modeling to compare lives saved by different screening scenarios and the summary of evidence prepared for the USPSTF to estimate the frequency of harms of screening mammography by age. CONCLUSION: Averaged over the six Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network models of benefit, screening mammography shows greatest benefit--a 39.6% mortality reduction--from annual screening of women 40-84 years old. This screening regimen saves 71% more lives than the USPSTF-recommended regimen of biennial screening of women 50-74 years old, which had a 23.2% mortality reduction. For U.S. women currently 30-39 years old, annual screening mammography from ages 40-84 years would save 99,829 more lives than USPSTF recommendations if all women comply, and 64,889 more lives with the current 65% compliance rate. The potential harms of a screening examination in women 40-49 years old, on average, consist of the risk of a recall for diagnostic workup every 12 years, a negative biopsy every 149 years, a missed breast cancer every 1,000 years, and a fatal radiation-induced breast cancer every 76,000-97,000 years. Evidence made available to the USPSTF strongly supports the mortality benefit of annual screening mammography beginning at age 40 years, whereas potential harms of screening with this regimen are minor.

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    • "They also found that screening annually from ages 40e84 years lowers mortality, yet it yields more false-positives and overdiagnosed cases as compared to screening every other year. Hendrick and Helvie evaluated the recommendations of United States Preventive Services Task Force regarding mammography screening [27]. Using six Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network models, they examined various screening policies. "
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we study breast cancer screening policies using computer simulation. We developed a multi-state Markov model for breast cancer progression, considering both the screening and treatment stages of breast cancer. The parameters of our model were estimated through data from the Canadian National Breast Cancer Screening Study as well as data in the relevant literature. Using computer simulation, we evaluated various screening policies to study the impact of mammography screening for age-based subpopulations in Canada. We also performed sensitivity analysis to examine the impact of certain parameters on number of deaths and total costs. The analysis comparing screening policies reveals that a policy in which women belonging to the 40-49 age group are not screened, whereas those belonging to the 50-59 and 60-69 age groups are screened once every 5 years, outperforms others with respect to cost per life saved. Our analysis also indicates that increasing the screening frequencies for the 50-59 and 60-69 age groups decrease mortality, and that the average number of deaths generally decreases with an increase in screening frequency. We found that screening annually for all age groups is associated with the highest costs per life saved. Our analysis thus reveals that cost per life saved increases with an increase in screening frequency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland)
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    • "benefits and harms (Woolf, 2010). With their grade C rating, the USPSTF recommends against routinely screening mammograms (Hendrick and Helvie, 2011). The USPSTF suggests that the net benefits of screening females between 40-49 years old are likely to be small and may be outweighed by harms such as overtreatment (DeAngelis and Fontanarosa, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is the most common cancer among females, worldwide, accounting for 22.9% of all cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) in women. Mammography is a sensitive (77-95%) and specific (94-97%) screening method for breast cancer. Previously, females between the 40-50 years old were recommended to have mammograms every one to two years. However, based on current evidence, in 2009, USPSTF recommended that the decision to start regular, biennial screening mammography for females younger than 50 years should be an individual decision and take patient context into account, including patient values regarding specific benefits and harms. This decision was based on findings regarding radiation exposure, false-positive and false-negative rates, over-diagnosis, and pain and psychological responses. The goal of this paper is to focus on evidence for updating the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation against routine mammography for females between 40-49 years of age.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP
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    • "This declining trend foreshadows a future negative impact on mortality from cancers of the breast, and cervix as well as increased morbidity associated with a later diagnosis of prostate cancer. Disagreements among the USPSTF, the ACS and other recommending bodies over cancer screening guidelines may have contributed to the decline in screening throughout the decade (Gotzsche, 2005; Kaplan, 2009; Hendrick and Helvie, 2011; Takahashi et al., 2011). A decline in worker insurance rates over the decade under study (Cunningham et al., 2008; McCollister et al., 2010) could also be a contributing factor. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Over the past decade the United States (US) has seen a decrease in advanced cancer diagnoses. There has also been an increase in the number of cancer survivors returning to work. Cancer screening behaviors among survivors may play an important role in their return-to-work process. Adherence to a post-treatment cancer screening protocol increases early detection of secondary tumors and reduces potentially limiting side-effects. We compared screening trends among all cancer survivors, working survivors, and the general population over the last decade. Materials and methods: Trends in adherence to recommended screening were analyzed by site-specific cancer. We used the Healthy People goals as a measure of desired adherence. We selected participants 18+ years from 1997 to 2010 National Health Interview Survey for years where detailed cancer screening information was available. Using the recommendations of the American Cancer Society as a guide, we assessed adherence to cancer screening across the decade. There were 174,393 participants. Analyses included 7,528 working cancer survivors representing 3.8 million US workers, and 119,374 adults representing more than 100 million working Americans with no cancer history. Results: The US population met the Healthy People 2010 goal for colorectal screening, but declined in all other recommended cancer screening. Cancer survivors met and maintained the HP2010 goal for all, except cervical cancer screening. Survivors had higher screening rates than the general population. Among survivors, white-collar and service occupations had higher screening rates than blue-collar survivors. Conclusion: Cancer survivors report higher screening rates than the general population. Nevertheless, national screening rates are lower than desired, and disparities exist by cancer history and occupation. Understanding existing disparities, and the impact of cancer screening on survivors is crucial as the number of working survivors increases.
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