KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

New Studies Restart Debate About Mammography For Women In Their 40s

Another study in today's news examines two eye drugs and finds they are comparable, a conclusion that could potentially save Medicare and other insurers millions of dollars.

NPR: Studies Reignite Mammography Debate For Middle-Aged Women
Should women in their 40s routinely get mammograms to detect breast cancer? Two studies released Monday aim to help resolve that question, which is one of the most intense debates in women's health. The studies identify which women in their 40s are most likely to benefit from routine mammograms (Stein, 4/30).

MedPage Today: Breast Screening In 40s Proposed Based On Risk
In a jointly conducted meta-analysis, extremely dense breasts (Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System [BI-RADS] category 4) or first-degree relatives with breast cancer at least doubled breast cancer risk for women age 40 to 49. The studies appeared in the May 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. ... All guidelines agree that women ages 50 to 74 should get mammographic screening, but recommendations for women in their 40s have been highly controversial (Phend, 4/30). 

The Wall Street Journal: Eye Drugs Roughly Equal, Study Says
The results of a closely watched study funded by the U.S. government show that the drugs Avastin and Lucentis are roughly equal at preserving vision in elderly people with a common eye disease, a finding that could potentially save Medicare and other insurers millions of dollars a year because Avastin is far less expensive than Lucentis (Whalen, 4/30). 

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