HealthManagement, Volume 11 - Issue 4, 2011

Controversies in Breast Screening

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Dear readers,

This edition, our cover story focuses on recent controversies associated with screening mammography. The media have lately drawn much attention to studies that question the safety and efficacy of breast screening, and here we summarise why this controversy has arisen, and provide a balanced account of the advantages and disadvantages of breast screening, as well as coverage of new tools currently in development that should aid in the increased diagnostic accuracy of results.

Firstly, a paper by Prof. Per Skaane, a well-respected authority on the subject, reasserts evidence that breast cancer screening decreases mortality rates and provides a useful list of recent studies into the matter. This is echoed by a paper from Dr. Wong, a breast radiologist in the U.S. where recent alterations to screening guidelines cautioned against routine screening in the 40 – 49 age group not excepted by patients with the associated co-morbidities. Additionally, we interview a group of leading experts in the UK noted for their investigation into breast imaging technology, to ask about their recently published research into the costeffectiveness of CAD, a hot topic at the moment.

New advances in breast screening applications will undoubtedly continue to drive accuracy and safety, particularly in examinations of women with dense breasts. These advances may do much to guard against over diagnosis, another area in which there is work to be done. Undoubtedly, the most potent tool in dealing with each of these areas, is greater dissemination of information to the patients themselves: at a time when radiologists are being urged to take note of the need for direct patient-to-patient contact and communication, this is another instance in which greater efforts and a larger awareness of the importance of the presence of the radiologist, can only be for the good.

In this edition, we also publish a review of the recently held Management in Radiology (MIR) congress, which took place in Nice, France. This annual professional meeting aimed at leaders, managers and administrators of radiology departments worldwide, this year invited junior radiologists to attend a unique pre-congress meeting to hone their interview skills and provided focused careers advice. As each year passes, MIR grows in both audience and scope of subject matter.

This year's congress drew a higher audience participation level than previous editions, while the addition of the junior radiologists lent a fresh perspective to the mix. As usual, MIR stands out from other, larger congresses in that its unique focus means that those present are there to share and learn about management topics such as this year's focus on Standards in Reporting, Coding & Finances, and Clinical Decision Support. Led by Prof. Peter Mildenberger, Chairman of the MIR organisation, the meeting was greatly strengthened by local colleagues Prof. Elisabeth Schouman-Claes, and Prof. Yves Menu, who attracted an increased French audience to the meeting. More information as well as photos can be found within.

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Dear readers, <br>This edition, our cover story focuses on recent controversies associated with screening mammography. The media have lately drawn much at

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