While the new American Cancer Society (ACS) screening guidelines recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) states that transitioning to biennial screening is an option for older women, the report notes that either one or two year intervals would be appropriate as a woman ages. Windsong supports the Society of Breast Imaging and the American College of Radiology’s recommendations for women to get yearly mammograms starting at the age of 40.
“Windsong strongly encourages women to obtain the maximum life saving benefits from mammography by continuing with an annual screening schedule,” stated Dr. Anna Chen, director of Women’s Imaging at Windsong. “We have seen firsthand how annual screening for women age 40 and older can lead to early detection.”
The ACS strong or qualified subcategorized recommendations focus largely on making patients better informed about breast screening false positive statistics and age determined breast cancer risks. According to the report, women aged 40 to 44 years who choose to be screened should do so annually, and women 55 years and older should have the opportunity to continue annual screening.
Windsong will continue its commitment to “personalized screening” which considers the breast density and risk of the patient. This screening method ensures the most advanced technology is offered to the patient based upon their personal history. This may include 3D tomosynthesis mammograms, ultrasound and/or MRI.
In 2011 Windsong made a decision to offer 3D tomosynthesis, an advanced breast cancer screening technology that greatly reduced callbacks and demonstrated the ability to detect breast cancer earlier. This life saving technology has become a superior way to screen for breast cancer. Studies show that it detects 41% more invasive breast cancers.
Dr. Chen added, “Women with greater than average risk for breast cancer greatly benefit from the 3D technology which could detect breast cancer in its earlier stages.” Studies show that the superior detection rates of the 3D technology have reduced callbacks by up to 40%, sparing women of the emotional, practical, and economic toll of additional testing, including biopsies, when there could be nothing wrong. As Dr. Anna Chen noted, the ACS report indicates an inability to comment on the benefits of modern, high quality screening, such as 3D technology, especially as it relates to women with dense breast tissue.
In 2014 alone, more than 200,000 women were diagnosed with an invasive form of breast cancer. Windsong strongly agrees that important discussions surrounding breast cancer treatment are required to make informed decisions, however these conversations cannot take place if a woman hasn’t been screened. Early detection is vital in the fight against breast cancer.
Windsong is the largest provider of breast imaging in the area and the only facility awarded the Breast Center of Excellence by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.