November 2009
Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition
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New guidelines released in November by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommend against routine mammograms for women ages 40-49; recommend biannual (rather than annual) mammograms for women ages 50-74; and conclude that current evidence is insufficient to assess the benefits and harms of screening mammography in women age 75 and older. In addition, USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the additional benefits and harms of clinical breast examination (CBE) beyond screening mammography in women 40 years or older, and recommends against teaching breast self-examination (BSE).

In our operating practices the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC) relies on evidence-based information regarding breast cancer. Clearly, however, there are conflicting messages from breast cancer advocacy groups and medical experts about the recommended changes to screening guidelines, and we have only begun to hear from breast cancer survivors.

We acknowledge and respect the research and differing opinions on this very controversial issue, while continuing to support the existing guidelines. We will carry on with our mission of raising awareness about breast health issues through outreach, education and support services; we will continue to recommend annual mammography screening for women age 40 and older in conjunction with a clinical breast exam; and we will continue facilitating and providing mammograms, as we always have.

DBCC will also continue teaching women the proper technique for doing monthly BSEs. While we appreciate that BSEs are not often practiced exactly and consistently as is recommended for optimal results, we do encourage women to know their bodies so that they can better recognize changes or abnormalities and seek medical advice, when and if they occur.

DBCC has always been, and will continue to be, a responsible provider of information that helps women make empowered choices about their own breast health. We encourage all women to consult with their health care providers, to understand their own risk factors and family health history, and to make positive changes in their lifestyle to reduce their breast cancer risks.

We will continue to support the existing guidelines until a time when there is greater consensus on, or an official change to, the guidelines and/or alternate screening choices are available for women.
DBCC remains the only organization in the State of Delaware focused solely on breast health issues as they affect the women and men who live here.

Additional Resources:

Mammography Information

American Cancer Society

National Cancer Institute

Susan G.Komen for the Cure

National Breast Cancer Coalition

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Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition
111 West 11th Street, Suite 3
Wilmington, Delaware 19801

165 Commerce Way, Suite 2
Dover, Delaware 19904

16529 Coastal Highway, Suite 116
Lewes, Delaware 19958