The CAR releases new breast imaging guidelines

OTTAWA, Oct. 24, 2013 /CNW/ - As part of its mission, the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) actively disseminates recommendations for best practices in medical imaging by creating and updating guidelines and advisories for radiologists, other physicians, healthcare professionals, healthcare policy makers and the public.

The CAR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards for Breast Imaging and Intervention were developed by practicing radiologists and breast imaging experts using the most accurate and relevant information regarding breast imaging. They are based primarily on radiological literature, and also on the latest data, while taking into consideration the vast technological advances in breast imaging technology and quality control in recent history.

The guidelines address the whole spectrum of care, including breast imaging and intervention, the qualifications and responsibilities of the personnel involved, equipment guidelines (doses, radiation protection), processing and labeling of images, reporting, quality assurance, and explain in detail the various screening methods currently in use (x-ray, ultrasound, MRI, etc.).

Of particular interest are the recommendations for breast screening intervals, as follows: every year (40-49 age group) and every one to two years (50-74 age group) for women in each of these age groups who have no previous history of breast cancer. For women over the age of 74 who are in good general health, one- to two-year intervals are recommended. Ultimately, women have a choice regarding whether or not to undergo screening. This important decision should be made based on discussions with their healthcare provider. Although the age-standardized mortality rate for breast cancer has fallen by more than 35% since 1986,1 which is largely attributed to the contribution of widespread population-based screening mammography, it remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Canadian women. Screening for early detection gives patients more treatment options, less invasive forms of treatment and better survival rates.2

Medical guidelines impact the health of Canadians as they are vital in helping healthcare professionals make the right choices for their patients. There can be confusion among healthcare practitioners and patients about best practices. To this end, the CAR is striving to minimize public confusion through the development of patient information resources.

The CAR advises healthcare professionals to consider these valuable guidelines when making decisions regarding breast health and patient healthcare.

About the CAR
The Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) is the national voice of radiology, committed to promoting the highest standards in patient‐centered imaging, lifelong learning and research. Radiologists are an integral part of the healthcare team.

1 Canadian Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Statistics 2011.
2 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

SOURCE: Canadian Association of Radiologists

For further information:

Josée Roy‐Pilon, Director of Communications and Events
Canadian Association of Radiologists
613 860‐3111, ext. 203

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