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Media Statement: Solis Disappointed in New ACS GuidelinesOctober 20, 2015

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**STATEMENT**

Disappointment in New ACS Guidelines

WHAT: Statement from Solis Mammography on the new mammography recommendations from the American Cancer Society (ACS)

WHO: Statement below should be attributed to Connie Oliver, vice president and spokesperson for Solis Mammography

ALSO AVAILABLE: All week, local spokespeople in Dallas; Columbus, Ohio; Phoenix; and Houston will be available for comment.

WHEN: Oct. 20, 2015

We are disappointed by today’s announcement from the American Cancer Society (ACS), and strongly believe that mammography and early detection continue to be a critical part of healthy breasts and overall wellness. Time and again, major studies have proven that early detection reduces deaths for women ages 40 to 74.

With the power of those studies behind us, Solis Mammography believes that women should be empowered with the knowledge to make the best choice for themselves – based on their unique history and the recommendations of their doctor.

Specific concerns we have with these new recommendations are:   

  • Women in their 40s have the most to gain. Solis’ Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen L. Rose is a radiologist with more than 25 years in the field of breast imaging specialization and has been involved in several published studies. “Women in their 40s are in fact the ones who have the most to gain by access to high-quality screening,” says Dr. Rose. “Advancements like 3D mammography (tomosynthesis) and breast specialization have a significant impact on the quality of the screening environment. I have already begun to see more of this particular age group presenting with advanced breast cancer, and today’s recommendations will have a direct and negative impact on women’s compliance with annual screening.”

  • Women deserve knowledge. On their website, ACS points to false positives and over diagnosis as a symptom of the “problem” with mammography. First, we take exception to the commonly used phrase “false positive.”  In fact, a recall after screening is often simply a request for additional images to ensure the highest accuracy in result. Because of dense breast tissue or perhaps because there is something seen that is questionable, a radiologist may request additional views. That is not a positive, but rather a question needed further imaging to answer.

  • Women should focus on the quality of screenings – not eliminate them entirely. There is no good alternative screening for women, and it doesn’t make sense to eliminate mammograms for women in their early 40s. Instead, 3D mammography, combined with breast-dedicated radiologists, results in increased quality of imaging and a 37 percent reduction in unnecessary callbacks.

  • Treatment is an option; knowledge is not. Instead of focusing on over diagnosis as the problem, the real question at hand is overtreatment. With the advancement of medicine and less invasive treatment, it is true that women can be successfully treated with less invasive options. And in some cases, they may opt not to treat at all. These are discussions a woman should have with her doctor AFTER getting all the facts. Avoiding the facts is not the solution.

  • Solis questions the “reasonable tradeoff” debate. Solis believes that issues that go undetected are what cause fear and anxiety –not the mammogram itself. The ACS speaks to a “reasonable trade off” as a good reason to start screening at 45, and then doing screenings every other year after 55. On the contrary, accurate information empowers women, and without it, women can find themselves in the position of potentially dealing with a late diagnosis where treatment is much more drastic.

  • It’s the patient and her doctor who should make the decision. We recommend that a woman’s doctor who knows her health history should recommend when she gets a mammogram.

  • Standard 2D mammography is covered at 100 percent by nearly all insurance providers. The ACS’s recommendation puts women’s benefits at risk and opens them to potential change. This may introduce financial barriers to a woman’s decision to have a mammogram.

About Solis Mammography

Solis Mammography is a specialized healthcare provider focused exclusively on providing women an exceptional mammography experience. Headquartered in Addison, Texas, Solis currently operates 31 centers across four states – Texas, Arizona, Ohio, and North Carolina. The company operates both wholly owned centers and multiple successful joint ventures with hospital partners. Solis provides a complete range of highly specialized breast health services including screening and diagnostic mammography (2D and 3D), computer-aided detection, breast ultrasound, stereotactic biopsy and ultrasound-guided biopsy. For more information, visit www.SolisMammo.com, like them on Facebook, follow them on Pinterest, or subscribe to their YouTube channel.

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For more information, contact Karen Carrera, TrizCom, 972-207-1935, karen@trizcom.com or @kjcarrera.