Published on the Aug. 2, 2011, DiagnosticImaging.com Web site
By Whitney L.J. Howell
Calling the results flawed, many in the radiology community are protesting a study released last week that suggested mammography hasn’t played a major role in the drop in breast cancer-related deaths.
The research, published in the July 28 British Medical Journal, compared the reduction in breast cancer deaths from 1989 to 2006 in several Northern European countries and concluded that improved disease management – not mammography – could most likely be credited with the decrease in deaths.
“Our study adds…to the evidence of studies that have used various designs and found that mammography screening by itself has little detectable impact on mortality due to breast cancer,” wrote the study authors, led by research director Phillippe Autier from the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France.
Industry leaders in the United States, however, disagreed. According to them, these results are flawed and contradict proven research on the efficacy of using screenings to catch early-stage breast cancer.
“Improvements in therapy have, likely, played a role in the decrease of breast cancer deaths, but therapy cannot cure advanced cancer,” the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) said in a joint statement. “Early detection via mammography is clearly the major reason for the decrease in deaths in the U.S.”
To read the article in its entirety: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/womens-imaging/content/article/113619/1917528