Why MEN Should Be Mad About New Breast Cancer Guidelines


breast cancerWe often think about breast cancer screenings as a women's health issue. After all, it's usually our bodies in which the cancer grows -- it's our health and our lives that are at risk. Recently, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care published new breast cancer screening guidelines recommending that early detection methods like routine mammograms for women in their 40s and breast self-exams and clinical exams for women with no symptoms be dropped, as well as that older women undergo mammograms less frequently. It's not surprising Canadian women were as upset as we American women were two years ago when a U.S. task force made similar recommendations.

But it wasn't just women who were dismayed by the task force's recently revised recommendations. One Vancouver Sun writer, Pete McMartin, lashed out at the new guidelines, calling them "full of crap." McMartin shared with readers the story of how his own wife's life was saved by a breast self-exam, a mammogram, and attentive doctors. Thanks to relatively early detection, his wife prevailed over cancer after a "nightmarish" battle and has been in remission for nearly seven years.

"The love of my life is with me today," McMartin writes, movingly. "I am not a clinician, but I am a husband" -- a husband who is understandably appalled that other women might be denied the same early detection methods he credits with keeping his wife alive.

McMartin's article serves as an important reminder to us all: Breast cancer does not only affect women. It affects men, too. Early detection saves the lives of their mothers and sisters, friends, wives, grandmothers, and lovers. It's no wonder that they, too, are upset about recommendations they feel may well put those treasured lives at risk.

What do you think of the Canadian task force's new recommendation that mammograms be less frequent and routine?


Image via sunsets_for_you/Flickr

breasts, cancer, general health, illness, medical tests, preventative medicine


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Histo... HistoryMamaX3

It's all about money. If they can't afford to provide the mammograms to everyone, they have to make cuts. It is very very sad, but that is what is going to happen. More and more women are becoming aware and more women are wanting to be screened, it is what happens when so much emphasis is made on a subject! Awareness costs money! Everyone should be angry at the new guidelines because they are deceptive in ways to help the government- not the people.

bills... billsfan1104

This is what is going to happen with Obamacare. Pretty soon they are going to make more and more cuts, because they cannot afford to "treat" everyone. And guess what? More women are going to catch it too late, and its going to cost the government even more money, because they ahave to be agressive with the treatments.

Kathy Arnold

 I think it is awful!!! I just wonder if any of them have been with someone or lost someone to breast cancer or known someone who has fought this if so I don't know how they could even think this way. Early detection has been proven to save lifes lets keep that up

Senia... Seniahmom

It's appalling. I know four women who'd be dead without early detection.

nonmember avatar Barb Justason

The new guidelines are patronizing, misogynistic even. Women deal with anxiety around their bodies constantly: we feel too fat, too thin, worry about STIs, unplanned pregnancy, how we'll push the baby out, various cancers or simply the annual violation (aka pap). Our health is one big anxiety. WE CAN TAKE IT! The new guidelines take us back to the dark ages, when women's cancers were hushed. Where is the equivalency between an anxious woman under the current regime and a dead woman under the new. We all know someone who is alive today thanks to this "ineffective" protocol. How can they call survivals rare -- there are so many! Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women. I think they've forgotten how to do simple math! Barb Justason

MamaB... MamaBear2cubs

Nothing ever amazes me when government is involved.

LOswa... LOswald0314

This is crazy.  More proof that standardized healthcare is not good for the people.

elasmimi elasmimi

Only a matter of time before it comes to USA

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