Three years ago I thought I was going to lose my best friend, then 38 years old, to breast cancer. With no history of cancer in her family, she happened to find a lump and by then it was stage 3 cancer, into her lymph nodes. She had never had a mammogram, and why should she have? As a rule, insurance companies only pay for routine mammograms after age 40. It is estimated that about 6% of women under 40 are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. That doesn’t seem like much, does it? No, until you realize that in 2005 (the CDC’s most current stats), 186,486 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed. That brings the total number of women under 40 to over 11,000. Eleven thousand women who won’t detect their breast cancer unless they are able to feel a lump themselves because they are too young for a routine mammogram. That’s a lot of women- wives, mothers, sisters, daughters…Annual mammograms for women starting at 40 have reduced the death rate from cancer by 15%.
But under Obama’s health care plan not only will mammograms not be recommended for women under 40, they won’t be recommended for women IN their 40’s.
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
Yes, it seems an independent government panel has found that the risks of mammograms are greater than the benefits.
The American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and other experts are against this change in recommendation.
With health care reform legislation waiting congressional approval, this could change what insurance companies cover in terms of screening.
Read it for yourself HERE.
P.S. My friend went through treatment and so far has been cancer-free since 2007.