The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently released draft recommendations suggesting that all women should have mammograms at age 40 instead of the previously recommended age of 50. Allison Evans Queller, the Community Chair of the Task Force on Preventive Services (CPSTF), commented on the latest recommendations.
Dr. Queller stated that the new recommendation was significant and required communities to take it seriously. She explained that breast cancer screening rates for low-income and uninsured women were only 67% and 43%, respectively. To increase these rates, community involvement was necessary.
In Virginia, legislators have expanded Medicaid insurance to help women get breast cancer screenings, which was an encouraging step. The state has seen notable improvements in communities and health systems, such as hiring local health workers, conducting one-on-one and group education on screening and cancer, and using provider reminders to improve screening rates. These interventions have contributed to more than a 15% increase in screening rates.
The CPSTF comprises independent, non-federal public health and prevention experts who work together to develop programs to protect and improve public health. They provide recommendations and findings on services, interventions, and other preventative measures.