Fighting Misinformation Is Our Responsibility

Smetherman_Dana_1This post was contributed by American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Commission Chair Dana H. Smetherman, MD, MPH, MBA, FACR.

There is a steady drip of low-value mammography information out there. That flow was slowed recently as two high-profile critics of breast cancer screening reportedly either resigned from or were forced out of prestigious positions, but the critics will return.

We must continue to counter misinformation with facts. And now we have some new tools to help.

But tools are only effective if we use them.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) has produced a series of patient and provider education videos  that we all can:

  • Post on our practice websites
  • Embed in emails to patients and referring providers
  • Use on our practice and personal social media sites
  • Include in presentations at scientific meetings and local speaking opportunities

The videos provide the facts on hot button issues like:

  • Breast cancer overdiagnosis
  • How often women are called back for a second look (and what happens then)
  • What Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) and Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) databases – and randomized, controlled trials – show about mammography’s impact on breast cancer deaths

The Mammography Saves Lives website has also been updated with downloadable resources to help you explain the benefits and risks of mammography and the impact of breast density on mammography effectiveness.

We can’t rely solely on referring physicians to inform patients about breast cancer screening. We must offer our expertise to the discussion.

These ACR resources make it easier for us to do that. We just have to do it.

No one else will.

Please provide your thoughts the comments section below or on the Engage discussion board (login required).

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