As you likely know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is one of the most common illnesses among women, and the second deadliest (heart disease is first). It can seem like everywhere you turn in October, there's something pink for sale. But behind the awareness, what is FDA's role in breast medicine?
One of the many things FDA is in charge of in this arena is inspecting mammography facilities and ensuring that they're up to snuff. You can read more about the mammography program and Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) here. Importantly, "MQSA became law on Oct. 27, 1992. Congress enacted MQSA to ensure that all women have access to quality mammography for the detection of breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages. The Act refers to the MQSA as amended be the Mammography Quality Standards Reauthorizations Acts of 1998 and 2004 (MQSRA)."
Some stats on the program can be found via this link, but here is a nice snapshot:
A list of MQSA Facility Certification and Inspection can be found here. Note all the various things that must be accounted for, including natural disasters and catastrophes.
And as always, what would talk of FDA or medicine be without putting some human faces and voices to the issues? This time we get a bit of insight into the human side of FDA too! Here you can find some great insight into the elite onsite training program one must go through to "join the cadre of over 200 inspectors that perform the annual inspections of over 8,700 mammography facilities in the U.S., its territories, and its military bases abroad." There are so many interesting bits to highlight, I can't pick just one. Go have a look.
The video below shows some other faces and stories and also offers some interesting statistics, especially "When breast cancer is detected early,in its localized stage, the 5 year survival rate is 98%".
This is an important program indeed.