EXPERT PANEL RECOMMENDS MAMMOGRAMS START AT 50, NOT 40?- - ARE THEY NUTS??
by Harriette Schwartz
A panel of experts says mammograms are causing women being screened for breast cancer to have too many false alarms and unneeded biopsies. The panel is recommending that women wait until 50 to get mammograms and then only every two years. The American Cancer Society says it stands by its recommendations of regular mammograms beginning at age 40.
First, a panel of "experts"? I beg to differ, you see I am a truer expert.I am a 23 year survivor of breast cancer and I am 59 years old. Cancer, including
breast runs rampant in my family tree. Do the math and I was 36 when it was successfully treated. Had I followed the "guidelines" I never would have made it
to 40, let alone the new guidelines to 50.
Because of this tree in my yard, breast self exams and even appointments at the Guttman Institute in NYC for Thermography (heat sensitization) became a part of my agenda in my 20s. (For more information:
My husband died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 45. Though the medical community insists our daughter, now 23 needs to be more concerned about my cancer history, I firmly believe she has a double whammy on her plate. RAISE the age and double the annual time of the visits? Hell, I think it should be lowered radically and that any woman from 20 to infinity ought to be able to make an appointment once a year for a mammogram. There is too much we do not know about breast cancer for anyone to make what as a long term survivor I feel is just much too cavalier a guideline recommendation. HJS
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