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Media Advisory

Not for publication

June 15, 2004 -- No. 320

Institute of Medicine, National Research Council to issue new report on breast cancer screening, diagnosis

More than 200,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year and more than 40,000 women will die. What are the most effective ways to further reduce mortality from breast cancer? What changes are needed to improve how breast cancer screening services are delivered to patients in the United States? Which technologies show the most promise for improving early detection and diagnosis?

These and other questions will be addressed Thursday (June 10) when the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council of the National Academies release a new report, "Saving Women's Lives: Strategies for Improving Breast Cancer Detection and Diagnosis."

The report examines why there is a worsening shortage of radiologists and mammography facilities, the implications for women's health, and what solutions could address the problem. It also assesses the value of various technologies and approaches for early detection of breast cancer, including computer-assisted detection, MRI for high-risk women, digital mammography, ultrasound and biomarkers.

Dr. Etta D. Pisano, professor of radiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and co-leader of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Breast Cancer Program co-wrote the IOM report. She is available for interview.

To obtain a copy of the new report under the institute’s embargo, contact Christine Stencel at 202-334-2138 or

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Note: Dr. Pisano can be reached at 919-966-6957 or

School of Medicine contact: Les Lang, 919-843-9687 or
Lineberger Cancer Center contact:
Dianne Shaw, 919-966-7834 or