21:20 PM

Who Can Make Breast Cancer Screening Better? You!


Join the fight for better breast cancer screening by participating in a national study designed to end the confusion about when to get a mammogram.

Breast cancer is the second leading cancer-related cause of death in New Jersey. And mammograms, which are x-rays of the breast, remain the most widely used tool to detect breast cancer early. Yet there is a lot of confusion about when and how often a woman should get a mammogram.

Now, Horizon BCBSNJ members have the opportunity to improve breast cancer screening protocols that can help close this gap in care and reach women at higher risk of developing cancer. We are covering the cost for 5,000 women to participate in a five-year study that can help end the confusion over how often women should get mammograms.

The WISDOM (Women Informed to Screen Depending on Measures of Risk) Study seeks to clarify the safest, most effective screening method for women: routine yearly screening or a personalized screening schedule that takes into consideration genetic and other personal factors like age, family history, and breast density.

Participation is free and easy

Horizon BCBSNJ members who qualify for the study can learn about their personal risks for breast cancer while helping determine the best way forward for all women.

It’s easy and free to participate. Eligible members who choose to participate will be randomly assigned to either a personalized screening schedule group or an annual screening schedule group. If a member has a preference for one group over the other, she can also choose which to join.

Members in the personalized screening group will be asked to submit saliva samples for genetic testing. They will receive a genetic testing kit at their homes, and they can return the kit by mail.

Women in the annual screening group will simply get one mammogram a year, beginning at age 40. There’s no need for participants to change where they get their mammograms or go to extra clinic visits.


"The results of the WIDSOM Study have the potential to give physicians a better tool to help women avoid unnecessary tests and procedures, and lower the total cost of care for our members." 

Earlier, effective detection is possible

Currently, many experts recommend annual screenings for women after age 40 to ensure early breast cancer is detected. However, this standard can lead to over-screening, a high rate of false positives, and unnecessary breast biopsies.

The goal of the WISDOM Study is to help us get better at detecting breast cancer earlier, reduce unnecessary tests and lower costs.

Funded with support from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the WISDOM Study is being conducted by The Athena Breast Health Network (Athena) – a group of breast cancer experts, health care providers, researchers, and patient advocates at five University of California Medical Centers.

Researchers will engage up to 100,000 women across the country to participate in the study.

If you’re interested in learning more about the WISDOM Study and whether you qualify to participate, visit www.wisdomstudy.org.