American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Mammography Screening—Benefits and Controversies

Guests: Cary Kaufman, MD, FACS, Chairman of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and medical director of the Bellingham Regional Breast Center, Bellingham, WA, and Carl D’Orsi, MD, director of breast imaging research and professor of radiology, oncology and hematology at Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Listen to this episode.

Mammography has been used as a diagnostic tool for the last 50 years or so, and has consistently remained a medical news topic. Questions about its benefits have been raised since the practice was developed, and multiple high-profile studies have been released sparking varied reactions. 

To sort out the competing narratives around mammographic screening, episode 24 of The Recovery Room Show features two leading experts in the field. Host Dr. Rick Greene interviews Cary Kaufman, MD, FACS, Chairman of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, and Carl D’Orsi, MD, director of breast imaging research and professor of radiology, oncology and hematology at Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

“I have recommended the American Cancer Society standards, which is annual mammography after age 40, and I believe that identifies the women who develop breast cancer at the earliest stage and affords them the best treatment,” said Dr. Kaufman.

But not everyone is convinced by the benefits of mammography, and what about the risk of frequent exposure to radiation?

“There really isn’t a substantial risk [to radiation]…the benefit to risk ratio regarding radiation is about five to one; the benefit is five times the risk of developing a cancer that would kill a woman,” said Dr. D’Orsi.

Dr. Greene and his guests also discuss mammography and the role of insurance companies, MRIs, and a high-profile recent Canadian study that cast doubt on abilities of mammography. Find out more by listening to episode 24 of The Recovery Room Show.


Dr. KaufmanDr. Kaufman is the Chairman of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and medical director of the Bellingham Regional Breast Center, Bellingham, WA.

Dr. D'Orsi

Dr. D’Orsi is the director of breast imaging research and professor of radiology, oncology and hematology at Emory University, Atlanta, GA.