June 21, 2018

Breast Imaging Commission Objects to PDQ Bias

The American College of Radiology (ACR) Commission on Breast Imaging and its Governmental Relations Committee urged the Physician Data Query (PDQ) Editorial Board in a June 20, 2018, letter to reconsider its Breast Cancer Screening PDQ to reflect a more balanced and comprehensive assessment of research and the scientific literature on the topic.

PDQs are published on the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) website cancer.gov but are “editorially independent” of NCI.

The recently updated PDQ added new text downplaying the role that “advances in imaging techniques for screening” has played in the decline of breast cancer-related mortality since the 1990s. It also added text about a study that suggests an inflated rate of mammography-related overdiagnosis.

In response, the ACR cited multiple contradicting studies and commended to the PDQ editorial board the summary of literature that served as the basis for ACR’s recently updated, breast cancer screening recommendations for average-risk women.