Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Mammogram Rules

Read a few Tweets about folks saying that the new mammogram rules 'throw women under the bus'. That strikes me as odd.

First - it's not like mammograms are risk -free. It's still ionizing radiation. It still does its part to screw up the body.

Second - the new guidelines still recommend them for at-risk women. Ya know, sort of like their recommendation for PSA screening for prostate cancer .... except for high-risk men they say starting at about 45, not 40.

Third, and to me most important - mammograms are NOT PREVENTION. Mammograms (increased diagnostics) and new drugs/therapies (improved treatments) mask what I'd call the REAL need: REAL PREVENTION. We need research, lots of it, into what causes breast cancer in the first place and then an ability to put that in place.

The focus on diagnosing and treating cancer rather than preventing it is like saying 'we won't worry about immunizing anyone against influenza or pneumonia, we'll just make sure we have lots and lots and lots of hospital bed and respirators'. If we actually get PREVENTION going, we will need less (yes, still some) diagnostics and treatment.

Frondly, Fern


  1. Oh, and let me add: Treatment research still has one major problem - they can't get cancer to metastasize in labs. And THAT is the problem with most cancers - that it spreads to new locations. Figuring out that trick of cancer (along with better ways to cut off blood supply to them) are where I'd personally channel treatment research money.

    Frondly, Opinionated Fern

  2. Until we find what causes breast cancer, we must take care of what is already there.

    I have 4 friends with breast cancer; three of them had no family history and one
    had a mastectomy at 39. All diagnosed with a

    Another woman I know just had a double mastectomy last week. Her mother died with breast cancer in her late 40's.

  3. i'm saving up to get the...er....blonde moment.....other scanning procedure done. it costs about $400 but doesn't carry the mammo risks. so of course insurance doesn't cover it. i plan on continuing to get checked every couple of years.

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