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Thread: Experts question motives of mammogram guidelines

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    Re: Experts question motives of mammogram guidelines

    Quote Originally Posted by Mach View Post
    No, it doesn't, beacuse the report does not discourge people from getting regular exams, it simply removes the federal guideline that it be every year with or without doctor/patient discussion on if it's necessary (it suggests something else, what...after 50 every other year or something like that).

    Let's put it this way RightinNYC, right now the medical establishment allows millions of people to die every day because they are not doing routine examinations, full body MRIs, etc. It's not that you shouldn't do these things, or that they are not helpful, it's their status as a medical guideline from that agency, which has a whole host of other factors involved. We're still free to push our doctors for whatever we want to pay for, or listent to their advice, or get 3 opinions, or get 3 opinions + follow federal guidelines...or not.
    The practical result of removing the federal guideline urging for mammograms starting at 40 is that insurance providers will stop covering mammograms starting at 40. That will result in fewer people having access to mammograms starting at 40, which will in turn lead to the marginally increased mortality rate that they referred to.
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    Re: Experts question motives of mammogram guidelines

    Quote Originally Posted by 1069 View Post
    As far as I know, this recommendation has been in the works for some time.
    For the past several years at least, there's been no consensus within the medical community on when mammograms should start.
    There are a couple of issues here:

    1. Each mammogram raises one's risk of cancer slightly.

    2. Breast cancer under age 50 is rare.

    3. Before menopause, mammograms are unlikely to detect cancer, because there is a lot of fibroid tissue in pre-menopausal breasts that makes it difficult if not impossible to detect tumors with a mammogram.

    So, these ideas have been kicked around for some time. The debate has been going on for years.
    I think a lot of experts in the field are now beginning to lean more toward routine mammograms only after age 50.
    That does not mean no mammograms ever for women under 50.
    It just means that it depends upon the circumstances.
    For many women under 50, mammograms would be of little benefit, and the slight risk these women incurred from undergoing mammograms unnecessarily would not be justified.

    I personally do not plan to have my first mammogram until I'm 50.
    i personally know three women who contracted breast cancer in the last 2 years....two under 50. i'm not so sure it's all that rare.

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    Re: Experts question motives of mammogram guidelines

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    There's no way to know, honestl y- if someone gets routine mammograms and is exposed to that radiation - and then later developes breast cancer - there *might* be a link or they're *might* not be a link.

    I think it's such a delicate issue that the process of finding out for sure would be quite time consuming, challenging if at all possible - you're dealing with the unknowns. . .there's no way of telling the difference between some cancers caused by radiation and their naturally-occuring forms.

    I think, then, that presuming that breast cancer might be caused by overexposure to that type of radiation is a safe medium.


    Radiation Causes Breast Cancer by Stephanie Hiller
    there are many "knowns". age, weight, childbirth, onset of menses, breastfeeding history, genetics.

    so, there is a way to tell the difference, at least theoretically.

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    These are the same liberals who forgot how Iraq attacked us on 9/11.


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    Re: Experts question motives of mammogram guidelines

    Quote Originally Posted by 1069 View Post
    Who GETS breast cancer more often?
    Affluent white women. Read the national stats.
    Who do you think is most likely to begin early routine mammograms?
    Gee, I dunno... could it be affluent white women?
    Please My dirt poor step mother would've been dead years ago if she didn't get checked in her 40's.
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    Re: Experts question motives of mammogram guidelines

    Hmml. I see a connection.
    The majority of the heads of government bureaus and departments are affluent white males . . . and the majority of people with breast cancer are affluent white females.

    So the government via husbanditis is the problem.

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    Re: Experts question motives of mammogram guidelines

    Quote Originally Posted by liblady View Post
    i personally know three women who contracted breast cancer in the last 2 years....two under 50. i'm not so sure it's all that rare.
    Of course it's not rare.


    Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 35 to 50

    250,000 US women living with the disease are under the age of 40

    Each year, almost 24,000 women under age 45 are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. and almost 3,000 women under age 45 will die of the disease this year. Today there are more than 250,000 breast cancer survivors in the U.S. who were diagnosed at age 40 or younger.



    I agree that's hardly rare.

    Also interesting to note that women on Medicaid/Medicare have a higher mortality rate than women not on it. It was the same mortality rate as those without insurance.
    Last edited by rivrrat; 11-18-09 at 06:05 PM.

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    Re: Experts question motives of mammogram guidelines

    Quote Originally Posted by 1069 View Post
    As far as I know, this recommendation has been in the works for some time.
    For the past several years at least, there's been no consensus within the medical community on when mammograms should start.
    There are a couple of issues here:

    1. Each mammogram raises one's risk of cancer slightly.

    2. Breast cancer under age 50 is rare.

    3. Before menopause, mammograms are unlikely to detect cancer, because there is a lot of fibroid tissue in pre-menopausal breasts that makes it difficult if not impossible to detect tumors with a mammogram.

    So, these ideas have been kicked around for some time. The debate has been going on for years.
    I think a lot of experts in the field are now beginning to lean more toward routine mammograms only after age 50.
    That does not mean no mammograms ever for women under 50.
    It just means that it depends upon the circumstances.
    For many women under 50, mammograms would be of little benefit, and the slight risk these women incurred from undergoing mammograms unnecessarily would not be justified.

    I personally do not plan to have my first mammogram until I'm 50.
    For women UNDER 50, I offer a free and comprehensive molest...er....breast exam.

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    Re: Experts question motives of mammogram guidelines

    As I understand it this is not because of financial reasons. Nor is it because of the radiation, though it is true that for younger women (under 35) a mammogram poses more risk of giving cancer than it does of finding it.

    The reason they changed this recommendation is that mammograms were finding something suspicious but harmless far more often than it did any good. This leads to thousands of surgeries and breast cancer treatments on women that turn out to be unnecessary. How many lives should be ruined to prolong one? You can say it saves lives but really, everybody dies eventually. Is it better to let one person live another 20 years or to put ten people through dangerous and unnecessary procedures, not to mention the psychological effects of thinking you have cancer. There is a similar situation with MRI body scans. They seem like a good idea but everyone has some anomaly somewhere that would never kill you but would have to be checked out anyways.

    It seems like there should be a better way to reduce the problems without raising the risk. Why can't they simply be more careful interpreting the results? But given an either-or choice with no other options I think they made the right decision. But then again I don't have breasts.
    Last edited by Tsunami; 11-20-09 at 12:42 AM.
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    Re: Experts question motives of mammogram guidelines

    Quote Originally Posted by liblady View Post
    i personally know three women who contracted breast cancer in the last 2 years....two under 50. i'm not so sure it's all that rare.
    Maybe that's representative, maybe it's not. This is why we are forced to rely upon statistics. Unfortunately, statistics are also easy to manipulate/misinterpret, but correctly done give us a much better idea of what is going on in the aggregate than anecdotes.

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    Re: Experts question motives of mammogram guidelines

    Quote Originally Posted by rivrrat View Post
    Of course it's not rare.


    Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 35 to 50

    250,000 US women living with the disease are under the age of 40

    Each year, almost 24,000 women under age 45 are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. and almost 3,000 women under age 45 will die of the disease this year. Today there are more than 250,000 breast cancer survivors in the U.S. who were diagnosed at age 40 or younger.

    As for the rate of cancer in medicaid recipients: I would speculate there is correlation between low income and poor diet.



    I agree that's hardly rare.

    Also interesting to note that women on Medicaid/Medicare have a higher mortality rate than women not on it. It was the same mortality rate as those without insurance.
    My mother, aunt, and step mother had breast cancer. Three of my friends were treated for breast cancer this year (one age 40). None of these cancers were discovered by mammograms. In several cases -including my Mom- the lump was found about 9 months after the mammogram. It is anecdotal, certainly, but I have my doubts about the usefulness of yearly mammograms and I wonder if they enhance the likelihood of cancer occurring.

    There are articles like this all over the internet:


    In 1992 the Canadian National Breast Screening Study found that women in their 40s are actually more likely to die of breast cancer after they receive a decade of annual mammograms than women who do not start getting mammograms until after age 50. In September 2001, a British study by Dr. Gavin T. Royle and colleagues from the Southampton Breast Unit reported that doctors beat mammograms at detecting breast lumps without inflicting cancer-causing radiation into your breasts. The Southampton Breast Unit found that mammography was up to one-third less likely to detect lumps than were physicians. There should be no more debate. Mammography is a serious cancer liability. It should be called what it is: “Harmful and Obsolete.”



    I don't know how credible they are but one thing I do know: Any physician who has been urging women to have yearly mammograms is unlikely to change their tune, now- admit that they may have been harming women? No way!
    Last edited by Cassandra; 11-20-09 at 09:34 AM. Reason: grammar check

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