Monday, November 16, 2009

They said...WHAT????????

Good news! No more mammograms for 40 year olds!

And, don't like doing self exam? No worries they don't do any good anyway.

When my daughter wrote me to ask what I thought about the latest recommendations made regarding Breast Cancer screening, I hadn't read about it yet. The recommendations are noted in this article out today in the NY Times (link below).

The people who made these recommendations are an influential group who provide guidance for coverage to insurance companies and in particular Medicare. They say that even though this may increase the number of deaths from Breast Cancer, they are lowering the standards because it will help the overtaxed health care system and that over screening has risks too. The point out specifically anxiety cause by unneeded biopsies.

Excuse me, you want anxiety, be diagnosed with advance stage cancer.

In my personal case I would be dead today if I had not done a self exam. I was 41 when I found my cancer. I had a mammogram done which confirmed my discovery. I was told I was not in a risk group because my mother died for lung cancer and not breast cancer. These new guidelines would have me wait until I was 50 to get a mammogram. By 50, you wouldn't have needed a mammogram because my autopsy would leave no doubt.

How much of this recommendation is based on cost savings? How much is real science?

In my personal opinion, if and when the insurance companies and Medicare start listening to these recommendations, these new standards will be the instrument of hundreds of thousands of women's deaths.

Angry? YOU BET!