Funded by Hooters of America, LLC
There is much controversy about the best age to begin mammograms (age 40 or 50?), and how often to do them to improve women’s health. National mammogram guidelines from various organizations give differing recommendations, causing much confusion for women and their health care providers. The University of California and the Sanford Health System (in South Dakota) launched the Wisdom Study to try to come up with a better way to help women determine what mammogram schedule is best for them.
The Wisdom Study compares annual screening to a personalized screening approach. Women in the personalized screening arm of the study receive a screening recommendation based on their individual risk factors (age, personal and family history, genetic risk factors, and breast density). We are comparing the two strategies to determine if personalized screening is as safe as annual screening, as assessed by no increase in diagnosis of Stage 2B breast tumors, and if it will reduce false-positive results and over diagnosis. We will also determine if personalized screening is readily accepted by women and if knowledge of their own risk and the reason for less screening will reduce or at least not increase anxiety about breast cancer. If the trial is successful, we anticipate benefits to women of screening age will include: 1) fewer women suffering from anxiety and stress of false positive mammograms and unnecessary biopsies; and 2) women gaining a realistic understanding of their personal risk of breast cancer, which may reduce general worry about breast cancer.