National Mammography Day: What You Need to Know

October 16, 2020

With today being National Mammography Day, here are the latest updates in mammography research.

Since 1990, mammography has helped to reduce breast cancer mortality in the US by almost 40% according to the American College of Radiology.

With the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) leading some patients to choose to delay their mammograms, approximately 35,000 breast cancer diagnoses could be delayed, and 5200 more women may die in the US over the next decade as a result of the spring-summer pause in screening. Though receiving a mammogram may not currently be considered high priority by some patients, it is important to note that 3 out of 4 women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease and are not considered to be high-risk.

In light of National Mammography Day, here is a round-up of the latest news and updates that focus on the role of mammography in breast cancer diagnoses:

  • A systematic review highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of existing decision aids for women with an average risk of breast cancer who are eligible for mammographic screening.
  • A study found that active smoking in women is strongly associated with a decrease in use of cancer screening services as well as more advanced cancer stage at the time of diagnosis.
  • Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, discussed delays in screening and diagnosis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A contemporaneous comparison of women participating in breast cancer screening versus those not participating revealed that mammography screening reduces the rate of advanced and fatal breast cancers.
  • A study found that a 6-month follow-up examination was recommended for women found to have mammographically detected BI-RADS 3 lesions after previous recommendations suggested a year follow-up was safely sufficient.
  • Research presented at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress 2020 suggested that limited English-language proficiency is a risk factor for getting potentially lifesaving screening mammograms less often.
  • A study suggested that conventional mammography screening performance metrics underestimate the interval cancer rate of a mammography screening episode.
  • Findings indicated that instituting annual breast cancer screening with MRI earlier may reduce breast cancer mortality by at least 50% in survivors of childhood cancer.
  • Jennifer M. Yeh, PhD, spoke about the aforementioned study findings which indicated that instituting annual breast cancer screening with MRI may reduce breast cancer in survivors of childhood cancer.
  • A study found that women with interval breast cancers who were diagnosed within 1 year of a negative mammogram test result experienced worse survival rates than women with breast cancers that were detected by screenings.

Reference:

American College of Radiology. Mammography Saves Lives. ACR website. Published 2020. Accessed October 15, 2020. https://www.acraccreditation.org/mammography-saves-lives