Wednesday, November 18, 2009

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and new Mammogram Recommendations

As reported on the news yesterday, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended reducing mammograms for women under 50. Here is the link for the full article. Here is another link for the members of this task force and their credentials.

Obviously, with what I am currently going through, anything that I can possibly say about this will be skewed by my own personal experience. I do have some questions, since I see from doing a quick online search tonight, that this is turning into a firestorm with the recent health care debate.

1. Who appointed this task force and when? The findings that I keep coming up with is this is not a group that is appointed by the government. Yet another link here. Maybe it's late and I'm just damned confused.

2. How long has this study been going on?

3. From reading tonight, the same data has been used by several different groups besides the government task force with different opinions. Why is the task force coming to a different conclusion than the American Cancer Society considering that they both used the same studies and data? Here is the link concerning this.

4. Will this same task force look at other screening procedures and will they be making further recommendations over all?

Gosh, is it more expensive to pay a little for early detection or perhaps pay more when it is full blown metastasized cancer? How about the human loss to families?

I guess since I'm under 50 I should just suck it up and not worry about what's in my right breast. Of course today, I have been optimistic. Yesterday, was a different story as I posted then. I suddenly feel like I'm bipolar since I have been playing the waiting game. One minute up, next one down. From what I have heard, this is normal. Would I say that it's been stressful? HELL YEAH!!! Gee, I would rather have the stress and know, than to have stuck my head in the sand and not know.

Please, please, please comment me and let me know your thoughts!!! I don't care if you disagree, I am fine with that. Where do you stand on this issue?

Edited to Update:

This post helped a lot. Another good link was here. I couldn't have said anything any better. Explains how the stats were used. Considering that in the U.S. there are 74,281,974 women between the ages of 25 to 64 as of the 2000 census and three percent of women will potentially NOT be diagnosed that figure would be 2,228,459. I guess 2 million plus people just arent' worth it, huh?


  1. I have seen some discussion over the years that mammograms aren't totally effective for women under 50 because we have denser breast tissue. Mammograms can give more false positives in these younger women. Also, it can't catch necessarily catch early stage cancer or pre-cancer. There's a less invasive technology called breast thermography which can detect precancerous changes years before a mammogram can. It is FDA-approved for breast cancer screening, although most experts seem to want both tests for women at high risk.

    This alternate test was just mentioned in another blog I read. The test has been around since 1982, but I had never really heard of it.

  2. I am against having to wait until you are 50 to get a mammy. I really wish they would lower the age so that neurotic people like me will be allowed to get one every year - if so desired. (Of course I have not had one yet...and might think differently after the experience. lol)
    From another angle, there have been studies (Ref: You on a Diet-Dr Oz) that show alot of our processed foods, not only contribute to weight gain but cancer as well. With having my Great Aunt and Mom to cancer, 50 is way too old.
    Just my 2 cents.

  3. I think they are crazy!! I don't think money should override lives.

  4. I tagged you on my blog today for a meme. I hope you're doing well!