American Society of Breast Surgeons Releases Video Statement Stressing Continued Support for Annual Screening Mammography

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The American Society of Breast Surgeons supports annual screening mammography for women age 40 and older.

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The American Society of Breast Surgeons, the leading organization for surgeons who treat breast disease, today released a video statement explaining its continued support of annual screening mammography for women age 40 and older.

The video, is an easy-to-understand follow-up to the Society’s official position statement, published in August, that stresses the importance of continuing the practice of annual mammographic screening, beginning at age 40, despite recommendations to the contrary by the United States Preventative Services Task Force.

In the video, Dr. Deanna Attai, chair of the Society’s Communications Committee and a member of its board of directors, explains that while most of the data indicating a survival benefit due to the early detection of breast cancer is in women older than age 50, studies confirm that mammographically detected breast cancers in younger women are smaller, earlier stage cancers which are associated with a higher rate of survival.

While mammography has some limitations—it may miss some breast cancers due to such factors as dense breast tissue, and, in some cases, it may result in some women undergoing additional imaging and even biopsy for suspected abnormalities that are ultimately found to be benign—Dr. Attai explains that screening mammography does remain the most cost-effective, practical and accurate screening tool currently available for the early detection of breast cancer.

“The importance of early detection cannot be emphasized enough,” says Dr Attai. The Society’s official statement asserts that women who are diagnosed with breast cancer in earlier stages are more likely to be candidates for breast-conserving surgery, are less likely to require chemotherapy, and will have an improved overall survival compared to women in whom their breast cancer is detected in more advanced stages.

The American Society of Breast Surgeons, the primary leadership organization for general surgeons who treat patients with breast disease, is committed to continually improving the practice of breast surgery by serving as an advocate for surgeons who seek excellence in the care of breast patients. The Society, with a membership of nearly 3,000 surgeons, promotes education, research and the development of advanced surgical techniques.

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Sharon Grutman
sgrutman@breastsurgeons.org
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