New Mammogram Advice Upsets Women Everywhere

Kim Conte

mammogramWe weren't the only ones who were upset this week after a government task force announced that most women in their 40s should no longer get routine mammograms; instead, it recommended that regular breast cancer screening start at age 50.

Women (and their doctors) across the country—including here on CafeMom—were confused and uneasy about this dramatic shift in approach to breast cancer detection.

That's why I was so relieved to read despite the new mammogram advice, Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is telling women to "don't change what you do."

In other words, Sebelius acknowledged that the task force had presented important information that should be taken into consideration when making a decision about whether to get a mammogram. However, federal policy would not change with respect to the new guidelines.

In response to the confusion surrounding whether women ages 40-49 should get a mammogram, Sebelius had this to say:

My message to women is simple. Mammograms have always been an important life-saving tool in the fight against breast cancer and they still are today. Keep doing what you have been doing for years—talk to your doctor about your individual history, ask questions, and make the decision that is right for you.

Sebelius also said she "would be very surprised if any private insurance company changed its mammography coverage decisions as a result of this action."

What do you think? Will you discuss the new mammogram advice with your doctor, or ignore it altogether?

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