American Society of Breast Surgeons Steps Into the Breast Biopsy Conversation

As discussed on this site, a recent study reveals far too many surgical breast biopsies, rather than less invasive and safer needle biopsies, are being performed on women who have abnormal mammograms.

Supporting the position on this issue as advocated by Dr. Jay Harness, the American Society of Breast Surgeons responded to news of the study in this letter to the Editor in the New York Times:

The American Society of Breast Surgeons agrees that a rate of 30 percent for open surgical biopsies is totally unacceptable…

Our goal is for all surgeons to routinely use needle biopsy for diagnosing breast problems.

This will minimize the number of unnecessary surgical biopsies, as well as reduce health care costs.

Surgeons as well as radiologists should be united in the goal of performing quality, minimally invasive, cost-effective procedures.

Until that goal is a reality, this quality issue deserves continued scrutiny from the media.

Dr. Jay Harness served as President of the American Society of Breast Surgeons from 2007 to 2008.

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