NIH News Advisory
Office of the Director

Wednesday, Jan. 15, 1997

Bill Hall
NIH Office of Medical
Applications of Research
Nancy Nelson
National Cancer Institute

NIH Consensus Development Conference on Breast Cancer
Screening for Women Ages 40-49

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will hold a Consensus Development Conference on Breast Cancer Screening For Women Ages 40-49. The conference will be held January 21-23, 1997 in the main auditorium of the William H. Natcher Building on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. A news conference will conclude the 3-day meeting at 1 p.m. on Thursday, January 23, 1997.

Years of research have confirmed that women ages 50 to 69 who are screened with mammography on a regular basis have a reduced chance of dying from breast cancer. Because the evidence is less clear for women ages 40-49, the NIH will bring together at this conference researchers who have conducted clinical trials, authors of relevant studies, other experts in the field, and the public to present and discuss the latest available data on mammography screening for women ages 40-49. After 11/2 days of presentations and audience discussion, an independent, nonadvocate, non-Federal consensus panel will weigh the totality of the evidence presented and write a draft consensus statement outlining their conclusions and recommendations on this issue. The panel's statement will address the following questions:

The panel will present its draft statement to the public for comment on the morning of the third and final day of the conference. Following this public comment session, the panel will release its final consensus statement at the news conference and take questions from the media. The consensus statement is the report of an independent panel and is not a policy statement of the NIH or the Federal Government.

The consensus panel will be chaired by Leon Gordis, M.D., Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Hygiene and Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Gordis will moderate the news conference.

The NIH Consensus Development Program was established in 1977 as a mechanism to resolve in an unbiased manner controversial topics in medicine. To date, NIH has conducted 120 such conferences addressing a wide range of controversial medical issues inportant to health care providers, patients, and the general public. An average of six consensus conferences are held each year.

Additional information about this conference, including the meeting agenda and area hotels, is also available at the NIH Consensus Development Program web site at To register for the conference, call 301-770-3153.

The news conference will be broadcast live via satellite beginning at 1 p.m. EST. Coordinates for this broadcast have not yet been assigned. As soon as they are assigned they will be posted on this web site.