MEDIA ADVISORY: UCSF Holds Free Mock Trial: Is Mammography a Good Value?

By Elizabeth Fernandez

What: UCSF physicians are holding a free mock trial to debate the health and financial value of mammography. It will pit UCSF radiologists against UCSF breast cancer experts to answer the question, “Should mammography beginning at age 40 be covered by publicly-funded programs?” A retired judge will preside, with the audience serving as the “jury.”

Why: The effectiveness of mammography among average-risk women between the ages of 40 and 49 is controversial and expensive – the cost of screening women in that age range in the United States has been estimated at $1.27 billion annually. Tax dollars fund both Medicare and federal subsidies for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Is it a “good value” to the American public? The two sides will present evidence about the benefits, harms and costs of various strategies for mammography, followed by an audience vote on which screening approaches should be covered by publicly-funded health programs.

When: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Thursday, March 9, 2017

Where: Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California St., San Francisco

Interview, video and photo opportunities:

  • Plaintiff's attorney: Jeffrey Tice, MD, a UCSF professor and internist, will present evidence that mammograms should begin at 50 not 40.
  • Defense attorney: Rita Freimanis, MD, a UCSF professor of clinical radiology, will present evidence that mammograms should begin at 40 not 50.
  • Expert witness: George Sawaya, MD, a UCSF professor and obstetrician/gynecologist, will present evidence about the benefits of mammography.
  • Expert witness: Karla Kerlikowske, MD, a UCSF professor, will present evidence about the harms of mammography, the balance of benefits and harms, and the cost.

Media are welcome to attend – please RSVP to Elizabeth Fernandez.

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland – and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area.