What We're Reading: Mammogram Guidelines Update; Weaning Patients off Opioids; New York Measles Outbreak


The American College of Physicians has updated their breast cancer screening guidelines to recommend that women of average risk of breast cancer get a mammogram at age 50 and every other year; the FDA advised clinicians against aburptly halting opioid prescribing for patients with chronic pain; New York’s mayor declared a public health emergency over the state’s measles outbreak.

American College of Physicians Updates Mammogram Guidelines

According to updated breast cancer screening guidelines from the American College of Physicians, women of average risk of disease should start getting mammograms at age 50 and then be screened every other year thereafter. The guidelines, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, also state that for women aged 40 to 49 years, clinicians should determine if the harms outweigh the benefits of screening before age 50. The new guidelines are in concordance with those from the United States Preventive Services Task Force, which recommends biennial screening for women aged 50 to 74 years.

FDA Warns Against Abruptly Stopping Opioid Treatment

The FDA Tuesday advised doctors not to abruptly halt prescribing opioids for patients who are taking them for chronic pain. According to The Washington Post, the FDA will add guidance to labels on how to reduce opioid use and warn doctors that abruptly discontinuing opioids in patients who are dependent on them can cause withdrawal, which in the worst cases has been linked to suicide. The agency underscored the importance of doctors and patients agreeing on a customized plan to gradually reduce their dosage based on factors such as treatment history and type of pain.

New York Declares Public Health Emergency Over Measles Outbreak

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared a public health emergency as the state continues its months-long battle with a measles outbreak in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn. The state will require unvaccinated people in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to get the measles vaccine. Failing to do so would result in possible fines of $1000, reported The New York Times. The state has tried multiple measures to reach the populations, including education and outreach, working with rabbis and distributing fliers, and banning unvaccinated children from attending school.

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