Washington, DC—Mark S. DeFrancesco, MD, MBA, President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), released the following statement regarding the United States Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations on breast cancer screening:
"ACOG continues to stand by our breast cancer screening recommendations, which provide for annual mammograms beginning at age 40. Evidence and experience have shown that early detection can lead to improved outcomes in women diagnosed with breast cancer.
"In January, ACOG is convening a consensus conference with the intent to develop a consistent set of uniform guidelines for breast cancer screening that can be implemented nationwide. Major organizations and providers of women's health care will gather to review and discuss the data in greater detail. We look forward to a positive outcome of this conference that helps to avoid the confusion that currently exists among the women we treat.
"ACOG strongly supports shared decision-making between doctor and patient, and in the case of screening for breast cancer, it is essential. Given the differences among current organizational recommendations on breast cancer screening, we recognize that there may be confusion among women about when they should begin screening for breast cancer. ACOG encourages women to discuss this with their doctor, including concerns such as family history of cancer, risk factors such as overweight, and their own personal experiences with breast cancer. Moreover, it is essential that physicians counsel women about the potential consequences of mammography, including false positives.
"Importantly, in December, Congress took steps to preserve access to mammography screening for women ages 40 and above without cost-sharing for two years.
"We recognize that guidelines and recommendations evolve as new evidence emerges, but currently ACOG continues to support routine mammograms beginning at age 40 as well as continued use of clinical breast examinations."
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation's leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of approximately 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org