This report is a survey of information and opinion on equipment, training and quality control in screening mammography and has been prepared to assist the Breast Cancer Screening Steering Committee established under the auspices of the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council.
There is substantial consensus as to appropriate specifications for mammography and film processing units.
Quality control requirements for screening mammography units are well established.
The Royal Australasian College of Radiologists (RACR) has made recommendations for a national screening program.
The Panel supports the College's proposal to introduce accreditation for mammographic screening clinics.
Workforce requirements for a national program may present difficulties.
The Panel suggests that:
- recommendations on screening and diagnostic mammographic equipment and film processing detailed in this report are used as a basis for decisions by the Breast Cancer Screening Steering Committee;
- specifications for equipment are kept under review;
- the Steering Committee hold discussions with the RACR and the Australian Institute of Radiography on issues related to training of radiological staff for mammography, and the availability of suitably qualified persons;
- the Steering Committee consider the RACR proposals for a national data base and establishment of a network of screening clinics, and develop these areas in association with the College;
- appropriate quality control mechanisms are put in place, and administered by the RACR in association with the organisation responsible for the national data base;
- a study is undertaken to provide governments with clear information on the cost effectiveness of a national mammography program.