This post is contributed by Debra Monticciolo, MD, FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Commission.
As you may have seen in ACR Advocacy in Action, I stepped away from the recent ACR 2016 — The Crossroads of Radiology® to testify on behalf of the College at a Society for Women’s Health Research Capitol Hill event regarding the need to inform women of reconstructive breast surgery options following mastectomy.
I explained that early breast cancer detection via regular mammography starting at age 40 can provide women with greater treatment options and an improved chance for a full recovery. I noted that the American College of Radiology (ACR) and Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) continue to recommend that women begin annual screening at age 40. I also stressed that women need access to this information to make informed decisions on their breast (and overall) health.
While our schedules are only getting busier, I strongly urge you to take advantage of opportunities in your area to explain why annual breast cancer screening is so important, why breast cancer experts – including ACR, SBI and American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) – continue to recommend annual mammograms starting at age 40 and why women who want an annual mammogram should continue to have insurance-covered access to these life-saving exams.
The ACR and SBI have resources to help prepare you for these opportunities – including the Mammography Saves Lives campaign. I invite you to take advantage of these resources. You may be surprised how many speaking opportunities are available in your area.
I also invite you to share your experiences and what you have been doing in your local community in the comments section below. Keep fighting the good fight. Lives depend on it.