No Problem Detected with the Mammography Readings at the Saint-Eustache Radiology Clinic

    The Collège des médecins is Nevertheless Issuing Some Recommendations to
    Protect the Public

    MONTREAL, Sept. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - The results of an inquiry into the
quality of mammography readings taken at the Saint-Eustache Radiology Clinic
were unveiled today at a press conference organized by the Collège des
médecins du Québec.
    This investigation, the scope of which has never been seen before in
Quebec, concluded that there is no problem with the quality of the readings
taken at the Clinic. "More than 10,000 files were reviewed during the course
of the investigation," underlined Dr. Huguette Bélanger, the head of the
inquiry. "Of all of these, 642 cases, or 6%, required an additional exam,
which falls well within the accepted norms."
    Among the 10,000 women who underwent mammographies at this facility
between January 1, 2005 and June 23, 2006, 10 cancers were detected (0.09%)
during the investigation. "Quebec's breast cancer detection program recommends
that women aged 50 to 69 have a mammogram done every two years," explained
Dr. Yves Robert, Secretary of the Collège des médecins. "One of the reason for
this frequency of two tests per year is to find cancers that could have gone
undetected in a previous reading. This would seem to be the case in 10 of the
files we have looked at."
    Although the results of the investigation are reassuring, in order to
ensure that the public is protected, the Collège des médecins believes it is
important to implement certain specific measures. "We will develop a
continuing education program for radiologists, surgeons and pathologists,"
indicated Collège President and CEO, Dr. Yves Lamontagne. "Moreover, we are
recommending that the individuals in charge of Quebec's breast cancer
detection program provide adequate information to women aged 50 to 69
regarding the limitations of mammography screening and the importance of
undergoing an exam every two years. Finally, we are suggesting that the
Ministry of Health and Social Services and the Association of Radiologists
improve access to supplementary exams for women who require such follow-up."
    Subsequent to two complaints filed with the Collège des médecins in
May 2006, the professional order's syndic asked a radiologist at the
Saint-Eustache Clinic to stop reading mammographies, which the individual in
question immediately agreed to do. In September, when the media reported on
the situation, the Collège's Executive Committee commissioned an inquiry and
appointed Dr. Huguette Bélanger as investigating physician in charge. All
12,000 mammographies performed between January 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006 at
the Saint-Eustache Radiology Clinic were thoroughly reviewed. According to the
results of the investigation submitted to the Collège des médecins on
August 29, 2007, there is no problem with the level of quality of the
mammography readings taken by radiologists at the facility. In fact, based on
the opinion of the expert radiologists consulted, the referral rates were
comparable with and the rate of cancers detected was better than those cited
in the professional literature.

    The Collège des médecins du Québec is the province's professional order
of physicians. The mission of the Collège is to promote quality medicine in
order to protect the public and help improve the health of Quebecers.

For further information:

For further information: Ms. Anne Roy, Communications Department,
Collège des médecins du Québec, (514) 795-4441,

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Collège des médecins du Québec

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