Customized Mammogram Schedule Recommended

Released today in the Annals of Internal Medicine: Personalized mammography by Breast Density and Other Risk Factors for Breast Cancer: Analysis of Health Benefits and Cost-Effectiveness.

In reviewing existing studies, this article focusing on the variety risk factors to determine that, consistent with the 2009 USPSTF Guidelines, “(m)ammography screening should be personalized on the basis of a woman’s age, breast density, history of breast biopsy, family history of breast cancer, and beliefs about the potential benefit and harms of screening.”

The Role of the FDA: Avastin and Other Drugs at What Price?

This week’s breast cancer headline: the FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee voted unanimously to withdraw Avastin as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer, though it remains to be seen whether FDA Chair Margaret Hamburg will ultimately suspend Avastin. Genentech, as well as patients and doctors are still pushing, and Medicare has announced that it will continue to pay for the drug for breast cancer patients. Avastin will remain available for the treatment of other cancers, and can ultimately be prescribed “off label,” though it may no longer be covered by private insurance if the FDA withdrawal comes to pass. More

Unpacking the Mammography Guidelines, Or Why As A Young Survivor I Don’t Think They’re All That Bad

As recently as this week the 2009 US Preventative Services Task Force Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines are back in the headlines.

As a cancer survivor with no known family history of breast or related cancers and whose cancer was first detected on a baseline mammogram at the age of 35, issues related to the value of screening and young women are very close to my heart. By all rights, my cancer might not have been found for another five years, and based on the current guidelines, perhaps it would not have even been found yet. So this is something that matters a great deal to me personally. More

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