Online Program

Making medical decisions around conflicting mammography guidelines

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Marla Clayman, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Mammography has long been promoted as an effective public health intervention to increase early detection and reduce death from breast cancer. However, in recent years, concern has been raised that mammography is overused, particularly in the age group of women ages 40-49. A synthesis of statements from national organizations, media reports, and the scientific literature. Currently, several national organizations have conflicting guidelines regarding mammography. When the United States Preventive Services Task Force released guidelines in 2009 giving mammography screening a “B” rating for women 50-74 and a “C” rating for women from 40-49, a media and social media firestorm began with women taking to the Internet to claim that their lives has been saved by mammograms. Meanwhile, the American Cancer Society recommends annual mammograms beginning at 40. The United States currently has populations of high-risk women that underutilize mammography while populations of low-risk women may overutilize and suffer harms from it. This presentation will discuss the interactions of media, social media, and healthcare providers in influencing women's referrals to and decisions to complete mammography screening.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics

Learning Objectives:
Describe conflicting guidelines related to cancer screening and explain their influence on screening behaviors.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present for this session because I am a health communication researcher with about 10 years of experience in both health communication and decision making.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.