FDA Strengthens Mammography Regulations: Final Rule

Sharon Worcester, MA

March 09, 2023

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made changes to existing mammography regulations.

A final rule, updating the regulations issued under the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) of 1992, requires that mammography facilities notify patients about the density of their breasts, strengthens the FDA's oversight of facilities, and provides guidance to help physician's better categorize and assess mammograms, according to a March 9 press release.

The rule requires implementation of the changes within 18 months.

According to the final rule document, the updates are "intended to improve the delivery of mammography services" in ways that reflect changes in mammography technology, quality standards, and the way results are categorized, reported, and communicated to patients and providers.

For instance, mammography reports must include an assessment of breast density to provide greater detail on the potential limitations of the mammogram results and allow patients and physicians to make more informed decisions, such as the possibility of additional imaging for women with dense breast tissue.

"Today's action represents the agency's broader commitment to support innovation to prevent, detect and treat cancer," said Hilary Marston, MD, MPH, FDA's chief medical officer, in the agency's press release. The FDA remains "committed to advancing efforts to improve the health of women and strengthen the fight against breast cancer."

Sharon Worcester, MA, is an award-winning medical journalist based in Birmingham, Alabama, writing for Medscape, MDedge, and other affiliate sites. She currently covers oncology, but she has also written on a variety of other medical specialties and healthcare topics. She can be reached at sworcester@mdedge.com or on Twitter: @SW_MedReporter.

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