New Breast Cancer Guidelines Can't Fool Most Women


breast cancer screeningsRemember a couple of years back when a government-funded group of independent experts called the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) said that women shouldn't routinely get screened for breast cancer until they hit 50 years old? And then they said that women aged 50-74 should only have mammograms every two years? Yeah, then a bunch of OB/GYNs and other experts and women who had been diagnosed in their 30s or 40s balked at the news, saying it was absurd ... and dangerous.

Well, thank goodness for anyone who spoke up or simply knows better, because a new opinion poll conducted by researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester finds that 8 in 10 women in their 40s believe the USPSTF guidelines to be "unsafe."

Sounds like a big fat "boo yah!" to the task force, not to mention a "win" for these women and in the battle against breast cancer.

About 30 out of 1,000 40-year-olds will die from breast cancer in the absence of screening. But in writing up their new recommendations in 2009, the independent task force was ultimately concerned with the "false alarm" factor. Specifically, the stat that one in two women who are screened yearly in their 40s will have mammograms that show a seemingly suspicious mass that turns out to be benign. And while dealing with a false alarm may be stressful, I personally would rather be overly cautious. And judging from this recent poll, it's a relief to hear that most women feel the same.

Do you feel the task force's guidelines are unsafe?


Image via Caitlin Regan/Flickr

breasts, cancer


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bills... billsfan1104

Hell Yeah they are unsafe. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36. My cancer is very aggressive and if I waited until age 50, I would be in the advanced stages of cancer. I dont care what these yahoos say, y daughters are getting them when they turn 25. no ifs ands or buts. My best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29. what does that tell you?? Idiots.

Susan Williams

My first mammogram was age 30. I found a large lump on one side, the mammogram found several small lumps on the other side. fortunately, they were benign. At age 47, I found a small lump which turned out to be a very fast-growing, aggressive cancer. Because of those first tests years ago, I knew to look for the tiniest lump and found a very nasty cancer while it was stage 1. That was 3 years ago.

Sharyn Rogers

Had I waited until I was 50...I would not have made 40 never mind 50 as my first cancer was diagnosed when I was 35. A woman is NEVER too young for a mammogram! At what age is a man too young for a physician/self check for testicular cancer, hmm???

Terri Powell Schools

I am a 35 year old nurse and have already had my first mammogram because of a small lump in my left breast. Thank goodness it was a cyst but I have worked with a General Surgeon who time and again had to give the news to women in their 30's that they had breast cancer. VERY UNSAFE GUIDELINES!! How about we go by the American College of Surgeons guidelines for mammograms??

Nicole Hays

Yes, they are extremely unsafe...especially for women in which breast cancer runs in the family. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in her mid-40's and is now in remission because they caught it. My maternal grandmother had it in her early 60's, but we didn't know she had had it until my mother was diagnosed. I found a lump in my breast, and even though it did not show up on the mammogram and ultra sound...I had it removed for my piece of mind. In the long run, won't it cost the government less if they can diagnose it earlier? Less chemo and radiation treatments for women that can catch it before it spreads elsewhere.

nonmember avatar Eden

I had a mammo on my own because I found a lump. I am only 33 and have met many women my age and younger who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I believe it should be your early thirties to start having regular mammograms.

Monica Boland Barnhill

You bet they are unsafe. Do those 30/1000 women represent real lives? yes, they do. My cancer was found on a mamogram and I dislike it when that method of detection gets minimized by the press. Starting 10 years later w/ mammo's is only going to mean a whole lot more deaths.

Melanie Bolduc

I was diagnosed at 26 years old, so that's just ridiculous. I would be dead if they made me wait til I'm 50.

Regina Prentice

they are soo unsafe !! I was diagnosed in my mid thierties , women in their 20,s are getting Breast Cancer! Whats wrong with this picture? Isn,t prevention the key? So why not do mammograms sooner also Ultrasounds !

nonmember avatar Patricia Bonds

Those guidelines are stupid and dangerous. It will led to more death that could be avoidable with early detection

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