ACR Commission on Breast Imaging objects to text included in Breast Cancer Screening PDQ

The American College of Radiology (ACR) Commission on Breast Imaging has sent a letter to the Physician Data Query (PDQ) Editorial Board objecting to specific language included in the recently updated Breast Cancer Screening PDQ. The two-page letter was signed by Dana H. Smetherman, MD, MPH, MBA, chair of the ACR Commission on Breast Imaging, and Kelly Biggs, MD, chair of the ACR Committee on Government Relations.

The commission’s primary complaint is related to text they believe downplays the affect advances in medical imaging have had on breast cancer-related mortality in the United States. In addition, the Breast Cancer Screening PDQ references research the commission says “suggests an inflated rate of mammography-related overdiagnosis.”  

“Because we understand the important function of PDQs in guiding medical decision-making, we believe it is critical that the content reflect a balanced and comprehensive assessment of research and the scientific literature on the topic,” Smetherman and Biggs wrote. “As breast imagers who are intimately familiar with the literature on breast cancer screening, it is our view that the PDQ summary on Breast Cancer Screening is incomplete in its review of the literature and unbalanced in its assessment of the benefits of screening mammography. We respectfully urge your reconsideration of this PDQ in light of the comments contained herein and the complete body of research and literature available on this topic.”

The commission cited multiple studies in the letter and closed by hoping the two sides can discuss these issues further.

“We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this matter with you in more detail and to provide additional information or respond to specific questions you may have,” Smetherman and Biggs concluded.

More information about the PDQ Editorial Board is available on the National Cancer Institute’s website.