Our Response To New ACS Screening Guidelines

As many of you may already know, yesterday the American Cancer Society (ACS) released new breast cancer screening guidelines.  We know that this information may be of concern, and perhaps even be confusing for women and their families.  I would like to say first and foremost, that we have great respect for ACS and their work. But however guidelines may differ regarding the age at which screening should begin, there is agreement that mammography is currently the best available tool for detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages when it is the most treatable.

Dr. Judy Salerno, CEO of Susan G. Komen®, has responded to ACS’s new guidelines.  I would like to share with you some key points:

We hope that these new recommendations won’t add to the confusion about breast cancer screening that already exists.
These recommendations aren’t binding on healthcare providers or payers, but we’re concerned that they have the potential to lead to reduced accessibility and coverage for breast health screenings.  Accessibility and coverage are key issues for Komen.
Clinical breast exams take very little time, are not invasive, and may be the only form of breast screening available to some women.
The key issue is that women need to know about their risk for breast cancer so that they can make informed decisions with their health care providers about screening protocols that are right for them.
Through our fundraising activities, Komen North Jersey provides grants to local non-profits in our 9-county services area that offer breast health/breast cancer education programs, breast cancer screenings and diagnostic tests for those who are uninsured and underinsured, and real-time help to those who are fighting breast cancer.  As an Affiliate of Susan G. Komen®, we also help fund more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit: Komen has invested nearly $890 million in research since its founding in 1982.

We will continue to spread the message that women need to know about their own personal risk for breast cancer, so that they can make informed decisions with their health care providers about screening protocols. Read our formal statement on access to and coverage for mammography here:http://sgk.mn/1GnPo6i

If you have questions or concerns about breast health, please visit our website at komennorthjersey.org or call our office at 908-277-2904.


Kelly Witkowski
Executive Director, Komen North Jersey


Media Coverage:

10/25/15…Issues and Ideas Radio with Chris DeBello

10/21/15…Fios1 News – Health Experts demystify the American Cancer Society’s new mammogram guidelines

10/21/15…NJ TV Online – American Cancer Society Updates Guidelines for Mammogram Screenings


10/23/15…New Jersey Herald – Decoding the risks of breast cancer


Sunday, May 1, 2016Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure®, Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex
Friday, March 4, 2016Pink Tie Affair, Pleasantdale Chateau, West Orange