FDA Takes a Bold Step Towards Enhancing Breast Cancer Prevention with New Mammogram Guidelines

Elizabeth A. Godwin

Quickly as possible, mammography facilities will have to abide by new regulations. Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated the rules requiring mammogram providers to inform patients of the density of their breast tissue.

According to reports, the modifications will increase FDA regulation of specific mammography facilities to enhance patient care and communication.

A technician uses a specialized X-ray machine during a screening mammogram to look for any anomalies that might suggest a risk of breast cancer. Images reveal whether a woman has dense breast tissue, which can make it harder to detect early signs of cancer. The condition is also more likely to affect women who have dense breast tissue.

"Today’s action represents the agency’s broader commitment to support innovation to prevent, detect and treat cancer," in a news release announcing the new rules, Hilary Marston, M.D., M.P.H., the FDA's chief medical officer in Silver Spring, Maryland, remarked.

The FDA has been working to make sure patients have access to high-quality mammography since 1992. The new rules must be followed within 18 months by mammography facilities.

As a result, more women will have access to reliable, high-quality mammography. We are still dedicated to strengthening the battle against breast cancer and pursuing initiatives to promote women's health.

Breast cancer surgeon Anne Peled, M.D., acknowledged the significance of the FDA's new guidance and serves as co-director of the Breast Care Center of Excellence at Sutter Health California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

"As a patient, knowing you have denser breast tissue allows you to talk to your health care team about whether additional breast cancer screening would be helpful and come up with a plan tailored for you," she informed Fox News Digital in an email.

To increase equity in breast cancer screening, it is crucial to establish control over reporting on density that is consistent and to guarantee that those with dense breasts have access to technology like 3D mammography.

According to the FDA, around half of the American women over 40 have thick breast tissue. An Indiana-based nurse practitioner with expertise in surgical breast oncology named Jennifer Hartman said she thinks mandating disclosure of dense breast tissue is a positive step.

If a woman does have dense breast tissue, she added, it's crucial to give her affordable access to further testing like breast ultrasounds or MRIs. Mammograms have contributed to a roughly 40% decrease in breast cancer fatalities since 1990.

"While understanding and being educated on breast density provides value, it will be even more life-saving if we could provide additional actionable measures based on that knowledge," she informed Fox News Digital in an email. The new FDA restrictions for mammography facilities will be in effect for 18 months.

Functional medicine physician and integrative oncologist Dr. Jenn Simmons said she does not share the enthusiasm of many of her colleagues regarding the new FDA guidelines. Dr. Simmons works at Real Health MD in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

"I do not believe that making women aware of their breast density will have any impact on health or long-term survival. In fact, I am concerned about the anxiety that the personal knowledge of breast density will provoke," she informed Fox News Digital in an email.

According to Dr. Simmons, these recommendations will "provoke anxiety and lead to more patient-driven imaging, which ultimately will lead to more breast cancers due to radiation over one's lifetime."

"If we had recommendations for women about how to lower their risk of breast cancer if they have dense breasts, it would be something – but we don’t. We are simply identifying a problem for these women without offering any solution," she added.

According to the CDC, women in the United States are diagnosed with approximately 264,000 instances of breast cancer each year, and approximately 42,000 of them pass away from it.

Women over 50 should get mammograms every two years, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. It is advised to start mammography around age 40 for anyone with a family history of the condition.

News Source: Fox News.

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