Facts and Fiction in Breast Cancer Screening

Recent controversies in mammography screening for breast cancer have led to confusion and misinformation in both the medical field and the public. Many primary care physicians recommend biennial screening to their patients age 50 and over. This course will discuss and review the published data on the topic and explain why mammography screening starting at the age of 40 saves the most lives.

RETURN TO MAIN PAGE: Breast Cancer for the Non-Oncologist: Supporting Your Patients Through Diagnosis and Treatment

Target Audience

Cardiologists, Emergency Medicine Physicians, Family Practice Physicians, Internal Medicine Physicians, General Surgeons, General Practitioners, Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Nurses and all other interested healthcare professionals.

Learning Objectives

  • Examine the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s breast cancer screening recommendations. 
  • Assess the state of the art in breast cancer screening, in terms of technology and results from recent clinical studies.
  • Discuss the impact and considerations of starting mammography screenings at the age of 40.
Additional information

Coldman A, Phillips N, Warren L, Kan L. Breast cancer mortality afterscreening mammography in British Columbia women. Int J Cancer. 2007 Mar 1;120(5):1076-80.

Jonsson H, Bordás P, Wallin H, Nyström L, Lenner P. Service screening with mammography in Northern Sweden: effects on breast cancer mortality - an update. J Med Screen. 2007;14(2):87-93.

Kopans DB. Beyond Randomized, Controlled Trials: Organized Mammographic Screening Substantially Reduces Breast Cancer Mortality. Cancer 2002;94: 580-581

Otto SJ, Fracheboud J, Verbeek ALM, Boer R, Reijerink-Verheij JCIY, Otten JDM,. Broeders MJM, de Koning HJ, and for the National Evaluation Team for Breast Cancer Screening. Mammography Screening and Risk of Breast Cancer Death: A Population-Based Case–Control Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. Published OnlineFirst December 6, 2011; doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-11-0476

Paap E, Holland R, den Heeten GJ, et al. A remarkable reduction of breast cancer deaths in screened versus unscreened women: a case-referent study. Cancer Causes Control 2010; 21: 1569-1573

Tabar L, Vitak B, Tony HH, Yen MF, Duffy SW, Smith RA. Beyond randomized controlled trials: organized mammographic screening substantially reduces breast carcinoma mortality. Cancer 2001;91:1724-31

Webb, M. L., Cady, B., Michaelson, J. S., Bush, D. M., Calvillo, K. Z., Kopans, D. B., & Smith, B. L. (2014). A failure analysis of invasive breast cancer: most deaths from disease occur in women not regularly screened. Cancer, 120(18), 2839-2846.

Course Summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.25 General certificate of attendance
  • 1.00 Nurse Practitioners
  • 1.00 Florida Board of Nursing
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Daniel B. Kopans, M.D.
Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School
Senior Radiologist, Breast Imaging Division
Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Avon Comprehensive Breast Evaluation Center
Boston, Massachusetts

Daniel B. Kopans, M.D., indicated that neither he nor his spouse/partner has relevant financial relationships with commercial interest companies, and he will not include off-label or unapproved product usage in his presentations or discussions.

Non-faculty contributors and others involved in the planning, development and editing/review of the content have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. 

Disclosure Policy and Disclaimer

Baptist Health South Florida is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Baptist Health has been re-surveyed by the ACCME and awarded Commendation for 6 years as a provider of CME for physicians.
Baptist Health South Florida designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Available Credit

  • 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.25 General certificate of attendance
  • 1.00 Nurse Practitioners
  • 1.00 Florida Board of Nursing
Please login or register for a Baptist Health CME account to take this course.

Required Hardware/Software

PC/Mac Users
PC/Mac Users

This site is supported on the most recent stable releases of the following browsers:

Click Here to Download Google Chrome
Google Chrome
Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge
Moxilla Firefox
Mozilla Firefox
Internet Explorer

Attention: Internet Explorer Users
This site offers limited support for Internet Explorer 11 (IE11). When using IE11, you will be prompted to download course videos instead of viewing them in the browser. After the course video downloads, the recordings will play.

Mobile Users
Mobile Users

This site is supported on the following mobile devices:

  • Apple iOS mobile devices running iOS 10 or later
  • Android mobile devices running Android 4.4 or later, with the latest release of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox
Technical Support
Technical Support

If you are experiencing technical difficulties or have received an error message, please send an email to CME@baptisthealth.net and include a print screen of the error message, your browser name and version, username and URL where the error occurred. You can expect a response within 48 hours.