“I think both patients and radiologists should be reassured and comfortable in following the guidance that’s been out there now based on our results,” she said. “We now have excellent proof that six-month follow up is valid. It works, it’s safe, it’s good for patients, and it avoids unnecessary biopsies.”
Ultimately, Berg said, it is critical to explain to patients that a six-month follow-up is not the same as their regular screening mammogram if a lesion has been detected. This type of imaging must be treated differently.
“The really important thing is to make sure the patient understands the need for this six-month follow-up. It’s not okay to skip it and wait until a year,” she said. “If it’s a mammographic finding, you need to have a conversation with the patient that, even though there’s a less than 2-percent chance of it being cancer, that doesn’t mean you see her in a year for another screening. That’s not the right thing to do, and we need to emphasize that and get the message out.”