A Taste of What’s to Come: Federal Panel Recommends Mammogram Screening Begin at Age 50 Instead of 40

Here’s the 1st of many cost-cutting measures if Government Healthcare passes.  Cost-cutting at the expense of patients, that is.  A Federal panel yesterday recommended women begin mammogram testing at age 50 instead of 40.  The American Cancer Society immediately issued a statement standing by their recommendation that mammogram testing begin at 40.  

From Washingtonpost.com:

Women in their 40s should stop routinely having annual mammograms and older women should cut back to one scheduled exam every other year, an influential federal task force has concluded, challenging the use of one of the most common medical tests.

In its first reevaluation of breast cancer screening since 2002, the independent government-appointed panel recommended the changes, citing evidence that the potential harm to women having annual exams beginning at age 40 outweighs the benefit.

Coming amid a highly charged national debate over health-care reform and simmering suspicions about the possibility of rationing medical services, the recommendations immediately became enveloped in controversy.

“We’re not saying women shouldn’t get screened. Screening does saves lives,” said Diana B. Petitti, vice chairman of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which released the recommendations Monday in a paper being published in Tuesday’s Annals of Internal Medicine. “But we are recommending against routine screening. There are important and serious negatives or harms that need to be considered carefully.”

Several patient advocacy groups and many breast cancer experts welcomed the new guidelines, saying they represent a growing recognition that more testing, exams and treatment are not always beneficial and, in fact, can harm patients. Mammograms produce false-positive results in about 10 percent of cases, causing anxiety and often prompting women to undergo unnecessary follow-up tests, sometimes-disfiguring biopsies and unneeded treatment, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

But the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and other experts condemned the change, saying the benefits of routine mammography have been clearly demonstrated and play a key role in reducing the number of mastectomies and the death toll from one of the most common cancers.

Tens of thousands of lives are being saved by mammography screening, and these idiots want to do away with it,” said Daniel B. Kopans, a radiology professor at Harvard Medical School. “It’s crazy — unethical, really.

View the full story here.

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2 Responses to “A Taste of What’s to Come: Federal Panel Recommends Mammogram Screening Begin at Age 50 Instead of 40”

  1. A Taste of What’s to Come: Liver Cancer Drug Deamed “Too Expensive” in Britain | Palmetto Conservative Says:

    […] pm If Government Healthcare passes, here’s another taste of what’s to come. (click here for a similar […]

  2. Harish Says:

    I have reservations about the Healthcare Plan. Can it cause dehabilitating reprocussions on my parents expenses? How do the pros outweigh the bad changes?

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