Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Mammograms / 30.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachel Farber, MPH School of Public Health Faculty of Medicine and Health University of Sydney New South Wales, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Most breast screening programs worldwide have replaced the use of film mammography with digital mammography. While digital mammography provides significant technical and practical advantages over film mammography in the provision of population screening programs, the effect of this move on health outcomes remained unclear. An increase in screen detected cancer rates is only beneficial if the additional cancers detected would have otherwise presented at a later stage and caused morbidity and premature mortality. An indirect measure of this is an observed decrease in interval cancer rates. Interval cancers are cancers that are diagnosed after a woman has a negative screening result and before her subsequent scheduled screening. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Mammograms / 25.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Xabier Garcia-De-Albeniz MD PhD Research Associate Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Mongan Institute for Health Policy Massachusetts General Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The goal of breast cancer screening is to reduce deaths from breast cancer by finding breast cancer at early, more treatable stages. The main way to screen for breast cancer is periodic mammography, which is an x-ray of the breast that can show tumors before they are large enough to feel. High-quality studies called clinical trials have shown that screening women in their 50s and 60s decreases breast cancer deaths. However, the point at which women can safely stop screening because it no longer decreases breast cancer deaths has not been studied. More than half of women in the United States continue screening mammography after age 75 years.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Mammograms / 19.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nancy R. Kressin, PhD VA Medical Center, Jamaica Plain Campus Boston, MA   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: State-level legislation requires informing women about breast density (BD) with mammogram results, to increase awareness of BD’s tendency to mask cancers on mammography, its association with increased breast cancer risk, and to encourage women to discuss personal risk and supplemental screening with physicians. The Food and Drug Administration is currently developing dense breast notification (DBN) language for use nationwide; information about effects of state DBNs could be informative for FDA’s language. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Mammograms / 06.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah Moorman, MD Department of Radiology Michigan Medicine   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Professional societies and government agencies have variable recommendations regarding how often women should get a screening mammogram. Breast cancer screening may be recommended annually or biennially. These differing recommendations lead to confusion for both referring physicians and patients. The goal of our study was to better understand differences between annual and biennial screening. We reviewed clinical outcomes of women undergoing annual or biennial mammographic screening to determine if there is an advantage to annual screening. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Mammograms / 15.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Elham Kharazmi, MD, PhD Co-Leader, Risk Adapted Prevention (RAD) Group Division of Preventive Oncology National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer death in American women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Available evidence suggests that implementation of a screening program can decrease breast cancer mortality. Reductions in breast cancer mortality in Europe over the past two decades have been associated at least in part with the implementation of screening programs. Screening enables the detection of tumors at an early stage, when more treatment options are feasible and most effective. However, screening is associated with substantial risks, such as over-diagnosis, false-positive results, and physical and psychological harms, particularly when large numbers of women with low risk are frequently screened. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mammograms / 06.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Kiki Gets a Mammogram" by kristiewells is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0Philippe Henrot, MD Radiology Department Institut de Cancerologie de Lorraine Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The initial observation was that daily practice of mammography shows a substantial proportion of women that report a negative experience after having a mammogram. Compression of the breast before delivering X-rays is mandatory to achieve the best image quality and to detect small cancers. Unfortunately, compression is uncomfortable, even sometimes painful. We took into consideration a study of PJ Kornguth et al. published in 1993 reporting the self-compression technique. In this study one breast was compressed by the radiographer and the other with self-compression. The author reported a high level of patient satisfaction, and a lower discomfort, without compromising image quality. We performed a multicenter prospective randomized trial to demonstrate the feasibility of the self-compression technique in condition similar to routine screening or follow-up, compared with standard compression. The primary outcome was to demonstrate that self-compression did not lead to compress the breast less than standard compression, and that was done. The secondary outcomes were to evaluate pain, compression force and image quality. The results indicated that compression force was higher when the women controlled themselves the compression of their breast, and the pain measured on a visual analogue scale was lower. Moreover, image quality was not compromised compared with standard compression.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Mammograms / 03.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stamatia Destounis MD, FACR, FSBI, FAIUM Elizabeth Wende Breast Care Clinical Professor University of Rochester Imaging Sciences Rochester, NY 14620  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  The current breast cancer screening recommendations in the United States are unclear regarding when to stop screening. Several societies with published recommendations conflict in regard to when to discontinue screeningmammography. There is little evidence studying the benefit of annual mammography in the population of women 75 and older. Due to this, we felt that it was a very important and timely topic to investigate, with the goal of providing further guidance on why screening mammography may be beneficial in this older population. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, JAMA, Mammograms / 25.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa A Newman, MD Director of the Breast Oncology Program for the multi-hospital Henry Ford  Health System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: In 2009 the United States Preventive Services Task Force published a guideline recommending that American women at average risk for breast cancer defer undergoing screening mammography until they reach the age of 50 years. Prior to this publication, women were widely-encouraged to initiate annual mammography at age 40 years. Women that have a history of breast cancer are automatically considered to be at increased risk for developing a new breast cancer, and so routine screening mammography guidelines do not apply to them. These women require annual mammography regardless of age, unless they have undergone a bilateral mastectomy. We utilized data from Michigan Blue Cross/Blue Shield to evaluate patterns of mammography utilization among women age 40-49 years, comparing rates before versus after 2009, when the USPSTF guideline was published. We analyzed women that had a prior history of breast cancer separately from those that had no history of breast cancer, and we excluded women that underwent bilateral mastectomy. Disturbingly, we found that mammography utilization rates declined among women with a history of breast cancer as well as among those with no history of breast cancer in the post-2009 timeline. This suggested to us that changes in screening recommendations may have had the unintended consequence of generating confusion and misunderstandings regarding the value of mammography among women that undeniably benefit from this imaging, such as those with a history of breast cancer.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cost of Health Care, Mammograms, Medical Imaging / 29.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michal Horný PhD Assistant Professor Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences Emory University Rollins School of Public Health Department of Health Policy and Management Atlanta, GA 30322 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Increased breast tissue density is a common finding at screening mammography. Approximately 30-50% of women have so-called “dense breasts” but many of them are not aware of it. The problem is that the increased tissue density can potentially mask early cancers. In other words, if there is cancer hiding in dense breast tissue, it could be difficult to spot it. To improve the awareness of breast tissue density, a patient group called Are You Dense Advocacy, Inc., started lobbying state and federal policymakers to pass laws mandating health care providers to notify women about their breast density assessments. As a result, 31 states have already enacted some form of legislation regarding dense breast tissue. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Mammograms / 03.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anne Marie McCarthy, PhD Department of Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School Boston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Mammography is effective in reducing breast cancer mortality. However, it is not perfect, and approximately 15% of breast cancers are diagnosed despite a negative mammogram before the next recommended screening. MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Response: Using data from the NCI funded PROSPR (Population-Based Research Optimizing Screening through Personalized Regimens) Consortium, we determined the rates of cancer diagnosis within one year following a negative or positive screening mammogram. The rate of cancer diagnosis within one year of a negative mammogram was small (5.9 per 10,000 screenings), but those cancers were more likely to have poor prognosis than cancers diagnosed after a positive mammogram (43.8% vs. 26.9%). As expected, women with dense breasts were more likely to have cancer diagnosed within 1 year of a negative mammogram. However, breast density was not a good predictor of poor prognosis among women diagnosed with cancer after a negative mammogram. Younger women were more likely to be diagnosed with poor prognosis breast cancer after a negative screening mammogram. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Mammograms / 26.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Stephen W. Duffy Professor of Cancer Screening Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Queen Mary University of London

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The phenomenon of length bias, whereby screening has more chance of detecting slow growing tumours, has been known about for some years. This has led some colleagues to speculate that breast cancer screening only benefits those with slow-growing, less aggressive cancers, and does not reduce deaths from more aggressive, rapidly progressing cancers. In this study, we addressed this question directly using data from a randomised trial of mammographic screening. We calculated the reduction in mortality from grade 1 (less aggressive), grade 2 (intermediate) and grade 3 (most aggressive) cancers, as a result of screening. We found that the greatest reduction in breast cancer mortality was from the aggressive, fast-growing grade 3 cancers, contrary to what had been suspected.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Mammograms, Technology / 20.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Manisha Bahl, MD, MPH Director, Breast Imaging Fellowship Program, Massachusetts General Hospital Assistant Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Image-guided biopsies that we perform based on suspicious findings on mammography can yield one of three pathology results: cancer, high-risk, or benign. Most high-risk breast lesions are noncancerous, but surgical excision is typically recommended because some high-risk lesions can be upgraded to cancer at surgery. Currently, there are no imaging or other features that reliably allow us to distinguish between high-risk lesions that warrant surgery from those that can be safely followed, which has led to unnecessary surgery of high-risk lesions that are not associated with cancer. We decided to apply machine learning algorithms to help us with this challenging clinical scenario: to distinguish between high-risk lesions that warrant surgery from those that can be safely followed. Machine learning allows us to incorporate the full spectrum of diverse and complex data that we have available, such as patient risk factors and imaging features, in order to predict which high-risk lesions are likely to be upgraded to cancer and, ultimately, to help our patients make more informed decisions about surgery versus surveillance. We developed the machine learning model with almost 700 high-risk lesions, then tested it with more than 300 high-risk lesions. Instead of surgical excision of all high-risk lesions, if those categorized with the model to be at low risk for upgrade were surveilled and the remainder were excised, then 97.4% malignancies would have been diagnosed at surgery, and 30.6% of surgeries of benign lesions could have been avoided. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Mammograms, NYU / 21.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cindy S. Lee, MD Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco Now with Department of Radiology NYU Langone Medical Center, Garden City, New York MedicalResearch.com: What led you and colleagues to conduct this study? Response: I am a breast imager. I see patients who come in for their screening mammograms and I get asked, a lot, if patients aged 75 years and older should continue screening, because of their age. There is not enough evidence out there to determine how breast cancer screening benefits women older than 75. In fact, all previously randomized trials of screening mammography excluded people older than 75 years. Unfortunately, age is the biggest risk factor for breast cancer, so as patients get older, they have higher risks of developing breast cancer. It is therefore important to know how well screening mammography works in these patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Mammograms / 18.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Archana Radhakrishnan MD MHS Division of General Internal Medicine Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We were interested in understanding the current practice trends in breast cancer screening recommendations by doctors in light of the guideline changes.  We performed a national survey of primary care providers and gynecologists asking about their breast cancer screening practices. We found that a large number of doctors recommend breast cancer screening to younger and older women—upwards of 80% of doctors recommend it for younger women (ages 40-44) and almost 70% for women 75 and older.  But this varies by the type of doctor that a woman see.  Gynecologists were, in general, more likely to recommend routine mammograms. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Mammograms / 10.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Firas Dabbous, PhD Manager, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Russell Institute for Research & Innovation Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Park Ridge, IL  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: When women are told that there is something abnormal on their screening mammogram that can cause stress and worry while undergoing additional testing, even when they are later told that there is nothing wrong. We wanted to know if receiving a false positive screening mammogram would cause women to think twice before getting their next screening mammogram, and maybe delay coming back for their next screen. This is important because patients who have a false positive experience may have higher chance to develop breast cancer at a later point in time. Therefore, it is important to understand their screening patterns to better educate and inform them about the importance of adhering to mammography guidelines and emphasize the importance of returning on schedule for their next screens. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Colon Cancer, Cost of Health Care, Mammograms, Medical Imaging, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Radiology / 09.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Gregory Cooper, MD Program Director, Gastroenterology UH Cleveland Medical Center Co-Program Leader for Cancer Prevention and Control, UH Cleveland Medical Center Professor, Medicine, CWRU School of Medicine Co-Program Leader for Cancer Prevention and Control UH Seidman Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Affordable Care Act, among other features, removed out of pocket expenses for approved preventive services, and this may have served as a barrier to cancer screening in socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals. If so, then the gap in screening between socioeconomic groups should narrow following the ACA. The main findings of the study were that although in the pre-ACA era, there were disparities in screening, they narrowed only for mammography and not colonoscopy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Chemotherapy, Mammograms, MD Anderson, Surgical Research / 12.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Henry M. Kuerer, MD, PhD, FACS Executive Director, Breast Network Programs MD Anderson Cancer Network PH and Fay Etta Robinson Distinguished Professor in Research Department of Breast Surgical Oncology Director, Breast Surgical Oncology Training Program MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Worldwide, triple negative and HER2 positive breast cancers, combined, account for about 370,000 women diagnosed annually. With recent advances in neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NST, chemotherapy and targeted therapy given before surgery) for both subsets, the pCR (pathologic complete response- when no residual cancer is found) rates found at the time of surgery in these populations can be as high as 60 percent. This high rate of pCR naturally raises the question of whether surgery is required for all patients, particularly those who will receive adjuvant radiation. We believe surgery may potentially be redundant – at least for these two subtypes of breast cancer – because of such a high chance for no evidence of disease at the time of pathological review. If there’s no cancer left after the patient has received chemotherapy and the patient is going to receive local radiation therapy, is surgery actually needed? The challenge has been that standard breast imaging methods cannot accurately predict residual disease after NST. However, by doing the same image-guided percutaneous needle biopsies after neoadjuvant systemic therapy that we do at time of diagnosis, our preliminary research reveals that we may be able to accurately predict which women will have cancer or not. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mammograms, UCSF / 01.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cindy Lee, MD Assistant Professor Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging University of California San Francisco San Francisco, CA MedicalResearch.com: What’s new about the research? How is it different than what’s come before? • The largest study on the topic, including national data from 31 states in the United States. Including 5.7 million screening mammograms with follow up. • All exams using digital techniques, up to date data, more representative of community practices in the U.S. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Mammograms, PNAS, Radiology / 31.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karla K. Evans, Ph.D. Lecturer, Department of Psychology The University of York Heslington, York UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This research started after initially talking to radiologists and pathologists about how they search a radiograph or micrograph for abnormalities. They talked about being able to tell at the first glance if the image had something bad about it. Jokingly, they talked about “having the force” to see the bad. We wanted to know whether this hunch after the brief initial viewing was real and to systematically test it. We collected radiographic and micrographic images, half of them that had signs of cancer in them and half of them that didn't, and we briefly presented them (250 millisecond to 2000 milliseconds) to radiologists or pathologistsrespectively. They simply had to report whether they would recall the patient or not and try localize on the outline the location of the abnormality. We first reported these finding in the following paper. Evans et al. (2013) The Gist of the Abnormal: Above chance medical decision making in the blink of an eye. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review (DOI) 10.3758/s13423-013-0459-3 In addition to finding that radiologists and pathologists can indeed detect subtle cancers in a quarter of a second we also found that they did not know where it was in the image leading us to conclude that the signal that they were picking up must be a global signal (i.e. the global image statistic or the texture of the breast as a whole) rather than the result of a local saliency. This led me to start further exploring this signal in order to characterize it when I moved to University or York, UK to establish my own lab. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Mammograms / 19.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr-Brian-SpragueBrian L. Sprague, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Surgery Assistant Professor Department of Biochemistry University of Vermont MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Having dense breasts makes mammography more difficult to interpret and is also an independent risk factor for developing breast cancer. About half of all U.S. states require that information on the density of a woman's breasts be made available to her after a mammogram, and in some states the report must also inform such women that there are additional tests, such as breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), that may detect breast cancer in women who have dense breasts and normal mammograms. Such laws are controversial because of the large number of women affected (around 40% of women aged 40-74) and due to a lack of consensus in the medical community regarding the benefits and harms of supplemental screening strategies. An additional concern is the subjective nature of breast density assessment, which is based on the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) that provides four possible categories for breast density. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Mammograms / 01.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachel Brem, MD Professor of Radiology and Director of Breast Imaging and Intervention George Washington University School of Medicine. MedicalResearch.com Editor’s note: Many states now have laws regarding patient notification of breast density after mammography screening. Dr. Brem discusses the background and implications of the new mandatory notification laws. MedicalResearch.com: What is meant by 'breast density?’ Is breast density a risk factor for breast cancer? Is breast cancer more difficult to detect in dense breasts? Dr. Brem: Breast density is a measure used to describe the proportion of fat versus breast tissue, which includes fibrous and glandular tissue. Dense breasts contain more fibrous and glandular tissue and less fatty tissue. This is important because on a mammogram dense breast tissue is white and breast cancer is white. The lack of contrast can make detecting cancer more difficult. You can only tell if your breasts are dense from the mammogram. You can’t feel dense breast tissue or see it. An estimated 40 percent of women have dense breast tissue that may mask the presence of cancerous tissue in standard mammography. Dense breast tissue decreases with age, but remains important throughout life. Over 75 percent of women in their 40s have dense breast tissue but over a third of women in their 70s have dense breast tissue. As breast density increases, mammography sensitivity decreases. This is significant, but we must consider the increased risk of breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue. Women with dense breast tissue have up to a four-fold increased risk of developing breast cancer. So, breast density is essentially the “perfect storm” where the ability to detect cancer decreases while the risk for breast cancer increases. Therefore, optimal approaches to individualized breast cancer screening are needed. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mammograms, Outcomes & Safety, Radiology / 11.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Sian Taylor-Phillips  PhD Assistant Professor of Screening and Test Evaluation Division of Health Sciences Warwick Medical School University of Warwick Coventry MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr Taylor-Phillips : Psychologists have been investigating a phenomenon of a drop in performance with time on a task called ‘the vigilance decrement’ since World War 2. In those days radar operators searched for enemy aircraft and submarines (appearing as little dots of light on a radar screen). People thought that the ability to spot the dots might go down  after too much time spent on the task. Many psychology experiments have found a vigilance decrement, but most of this research has not been in a real world setting. In this research we wanted to know whether there was a drop in performance with time on a task for breast screening readers looking at breast x-rays for signs of cancer. (Breast x-rays or mammograms show lots of overlapping tissue and cancers can be quite difficult to spot). This was a real-world randomised controlled study in UK clinical practice. In the UK NHS Breast Screening Programme two readers examine each woman’s breast x-rays separately for signs of cancer. They look at batches of around 35 women’s x-rays. At the moment  both readers look at the x-rays in the same order as each another, so if they both experience a drop in performance, it will happen at the same time. We tested a really simple idea of reversing the batch order for one of the readers, so that if they have a low ebb of performance it happens when they are looking at different women’s breast x-rays. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Mammograms / 06.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ragnhild Falk PhD Oslo Centre for Biostatistics and Epidemiology Research Support Services Oslo University Hospital and Solveig Hofvind PhD Department of Screening Cancer Registry of Norway and Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences Oslo, Norway MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The issue of overdiagnosis has been heavily debated, and a variety of results have been presented. However, the exact proportion of overdiagnosis is unknown as one do not know what would have happen in the absent of screening. We have split the proportion of overdiagnosis into two parts based on the time at which the death occur; scenario 1 as the proportion of women diagnosed with a screen-detected breast cancer and who died within the lead-time period, and scenario 2 as women detected with slow growing tumors that never would have caused any harm during the women’s life if she had not attended screening. In principle, all screening programs will detect breast cancer among women who die of other causes in the near future since there exist competing risk of death among women targeted by screening. Although the all-cause mortality rates are low, it is inevitable. We wanted to focus on the first scenario and estimated the number of women diagnosed with screen detected breast cancer who died within the estimated lead-time period caused by screening. We estimated his proportion to be less than 4 percent of all screen-detected cases in the given England & Wales and the Norwegian setting. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Compliance, Genetic Research, Mammograms / 27.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stamatia Destounis, MD, FSBI, FACR Elizabeth Wende Breast Care, LLC, Clinical Professor of Imaging Sciences University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry  Rochester NY 14620  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Destounis: Identification of women who have an increased risk of breast cancer is important, as they are often eligible for additional screening methods, such as breast MRI. One criterion for eligibility for screening breast MRI is >20% lifetime risk of breast cancer, as determined by risk assessment models through genetic counseling. At my facility, we have incorporated a genetics program. Through the program we are flagging and identifying a large volume of patients who are potentially eligible for additional services. This study was conducted to determine the value of screening MRI in the patient subgroup who have undergone genetic counseling at my facility. In this group we found 50% of patients who were referred for counseling were also recommended to have screening MRI. However, only 21.3% of those recommended actually pursued the exam. Of those patients who did have a screening MRI, 4 were diagnosed with breast cancer, all of which were invasive and node negative. We ultimately had a 10% biopsy rate and 50% cancer detection rate in this subgroup. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Mammograms / 27.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth A. Rafferty, MD Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Now with L&M Radiology, West Acton, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Rafferty: Breast tomosynthesis has been approved for mammographic screening in the United States for just over 5 years, and many single center studies have demonstrated its improved performance for screening outcomes over digital mammography alone. Our previously published multi-center analysis, (JAMA 2014;311(24), the largest study on this topic to date, demonstrated significantly improved cancer detection and reduced recall rates for women undergoing tomosynthesis compared with digital mammography alone.  In the current issue of JAMA we evaluate the differential screening performance after implementation of breast tomosynthesis as a function of breast density. While tomosynthesis continues to be increasingly available, questions remained about which women should be imaged with this technique. In particular, does this technology offer additional benefit for all women, or only for women with dense breasts. The size of the database compiled by the centers participating in this study allowed us to evaluate this important question. The most critical finding of our study was that the use of tomosynthesis for breast cancer screening significantly improved invasive cancer detection rates while simultaneously significantly reducing recall rates both for women with dense and non-dense breast tissue. Having said that, the magnitude of the benefit was largest for women with heterogeneously dense breast tissue; for this population, tomosynthesis increased the detection of invasive cancers by 50% while simultaneously reducing the recall rate by 14%. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mammograms / 21.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stacey Fedewa, MPH Strategic Director, Screening and Risk Factor Surveillance Surveillance and Health Services Research program American Cancer Society MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) no longer recommended routine mammography for women aged 40–49 and ≥75 years (younger and older women, respectively). Whether mammography usage and physician recommendation among younger (40-49 years) and older (75+ years) women changed in response to these recommendations is unclear, so we compared changes in women’s self-reported mammography screening practices and physician recommendation for mammography between 2008 and 2013 using the National Health Interview Survey in younger and older women. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Overall mammography prevalence for younger and older women did not change between 2008 and 2013, except in higher-socioeconomic younger women. During the corresponding study period, physician recommendation fell by 5.0% for younger women and 5.8% for older women, which may reflect physician adherence to the 2009 USPSTF updated BC screening recommendations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Fertility, Gender Differences, Karolinski Institute, Mammograms, Radiology / 14.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frida Lundberg | PhD Student Dept. of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Fertility treatments involve stimulation with potent hormonal drugs that increase the amount of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones have been linked to breast cancer risk. Further, as these treatments are relatively new, most women who have gone through them are still below the age at which breast cancer is usually diagnosed. Therefore we wanted to investigate if infertility and fertility treatments influences mammographic breast density, a strong marker for breast cancer risk that is also hormone-responsive. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: We found that women with a history of infertility had higher absolute dense volume than other women. Among the infertile women, those who had gone through controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) had the highest absolute dense volume. The results from our study indicate that infertile women, especially those who undergo COS, might represent a group with an increased risk of breast cancer. However, the observed difference in dense volume was relatively small and has only been linked to a modest increase in breast cancer risk in previous studies.  As the infertility type could influence what treatment the couples undergo, the association might also be due to the underlying infertility rather than the treatment per se. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Mammograms / 12.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan K. Boolbol, MD, FACS Chief, Division of Breast Surgery Chief, Appel-Venet Comprehensive Breast Service Co-Director, Breast Surgery Fellowship Mount Sinai Beth Israel Associate Professor of Surgery Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, NY 10003 Medical Research: What is the background for these new recommendations? Dr. Boolbol: To make this final recommendation, the Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of the science since its 2009 recommendation and considered the public comments it received on its 2015 draft recommendation statement. Based on all of this, the task force issued their recommendations. Medical Research: What are the main changes from current guidelines? Dr. Boolbol: Presently, there are several different guidelines and recommendations regarding screening mammography. Depending on the group issuing the guidelines, the recommendations vary from annual mammography beginning at 40 years old to biennial mammograms from 50 to 74 years old. The Task Force continues to find that the benefit of mammography increases with age, and recommends biennial screening in women ages 50 to 74. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Geriatrics, Mammograms / 07.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Charles Hennekens MD Dr.P.H Sir Richard Doll Professor Senior Academic Advisor to the Dean Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine Florida Atlantic University 777 Glades Road Boca Raton, FL 33431 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Hennekens: Randomized evidence indicates clear benefits of mammography in middle age and, at present, most guidelines recommend regular mammography for women up to age 74.  In collaboration with colleagues at Baylor Medical College and Meharry Medical School we were able to link the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data to the Medicare administrative claims data.  We found that, up to 84 years, screening was more common among whites than blacks and women receiving regular annual screening mammography had lower risks of mortality from breast cancer. (more…)