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A proactive approach

A mammography imaging room is pictured. Submitted photo

WORTHINGTON — Some women who received mammograms in 2013 at Avera Medical Group Worthington will be contacted in the coming days and asked to return for new X-rays, Avera Health announced Tuesday.

Tad Jacobs, Avera Medical Group’s chief medical officer, said callbacks for new mammograms pertain only to women who had 2013 mammograms done in Worthington. He added that about 1,300 mammograms were read from women who had imaging in Worthington, and that approximately 300 will be called.

“We identified a group of mammograms for 2013 that didn’t have the desired quality of imaging,” Jacobs said. “As part of our quality initiative, we look back and compare films from time to time … and it’s very important that women have the highest quality of image.”

Jacobs explained that each year, according to the American Cancer Society, about 10 percent of women nationally who receive mammograms get a callback. Of that 10 percent, he added, only between 8 to 10 percent go on to get a biopsy, and 80 percent of those biopsies turn out to be benign.

“This is being done to ensure we have the highest-quality image,” Jacobs said. “If you don’t get a callback, you can be assured there’s no need for any additional imaging.”

The callbacks have already begun, Jacobs noted, and will likely be completed over the course of the next several weeks. The new imaging will be done at no charge.

Readings of mammography imaging taken locally had been done in Worthington prior to January 2014, when Avera Radiology began completing the work off-site. Kelli Van Grouw, Avera Medical Group Worthington’s administrator, stressed that only a portion of the 2013 images are resulting in callbacks.

“We felt this quality review was important to ensure we have the highest quality images on file,” Van Grouw said. “Mammograms are still one of the best ways to find breast cancer early. We will make this process as convenient as possible for women who receive calls.”

Avera Health also issued the following mammogram recommendations:

  • Women ages 50-74 should have an annual mammogram every one to two years.
  • Women ages 40-49 should discuss having mammograms every one to two years with their provider.
  • Women age 75 and over should discuss their decision to continue screening with their provider.
  • Women at high risk should be referred for genetic counseling and possibly a high-risk screening schedule.

Patients with questions about the mammography callbacks should call Avera Worthington Medical Group at 372-2921 and ask for Van Grouw or Robin Funk.

Daily Globe Managing Editor Ryan McGaughey may be reached at 376-7320.

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

(507) 376-7320