New benchmarks possible for screening mammography
Recent studies of medical audit data funded by the National Cancer Institute showed that community mammography screening results surpass performance recommendations across the United States. Six NCI-funded research sites were evaluated for the study, for a total of nearly 2.6 million screening exams assessed by 807 radiologists. “With a cancer detection rate of 4.8 per 1,000 women, our results show that most radiologists who are reading mammograms are performing well,” said Robert D. Rosenberg, MD, lead researcher and professor of radiology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. “Mammography, combined with better breast cancer treatments, appears to be helping to decrease the number of deaths from breast cancer.” There has previously been no national measurement for radiologists to compare their individual cancer detection rates against. “There have been no data available for mammographers in the United States to give context to anyone’s individual performance results. All prior guidelines were best guesses from a panel of experienced radiologists,” Rosenberg added. The researchers hope that the findings will assist radiologists in their detection rates when reading mammograms. The findings are reported in the October issue of Radiology.