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New Screening Guidelines may Harm Breast Cancer Mortality Rate
4/1/2010 - Christine Traxler

 

Over the last 20 years, the breast cancer mortality rate has declined by 30%. Now, doctors worry a study by a government panel may have a negative impact.

Last year, the US Preventative Task Force recommended against mammograms for women between the ages of 40 and 49.

Some doctors contradicted those findings at an Indiana University School of Medicine panel. Many radiologists and oncologists are sticking to their recommendation that all women over 40 must get yearly mammograms.

Breast cancer survivor, Ann Carlise, is already worried about her daughter who's in her late 30's. Now, she's even more concerned after hearing about the government study.

This committee was comprised of people from insurance companies and not a single oncologist was on the force. 

The task force recommendations are to not screen women ages 40-49 for breast cancer and only do screening every two years for women over 50.

One doctor says, “I worry if we stretch that interval from 1-2 years, we're going to see larger, more advanced cancers and I think the data supports that.”

Researchers found evidence to support once again that 20% of breast cancer, even locally, is detected between ages 40-49. There are concerns that these recommendations, which many think are wrong, will be adopted by insurance companies and women won’t be able to have their mammograms paid for.

In California, he says there are already some rumblings about insurance companies trying to go that route. Anne Carlise was diagnosed in her 40's. Nine years later, she's alive. Carlisle says, “Don't listen to them. Go out and get your mammograms.”


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