Published November 17, 2009
Editor's note: The author of the following post is a breast cancer survivor.
I am appalled at the change in recommendations for breast cancer screening by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Early detection is the best thing we have in place today for fighting the disease -- it's not perfect but it's the best we've got.
Is is really acceptable to say that this will only increase the number of women who die from breast cancer by three percent? What if only one out of that 3% is someone you know and love (a sister, a daughter, an aunt, the mother of small children)? Three percent sounds like a small percentage -- but breast cancer affects so many women that that is not a small number.
I probably would have been one of those three percent had my breast cancer not been seen on a routine mammogram at age 44. I had no family history of breast cancer (which is quite commmon). My breast cancer was very deep -- almost at my chest wall. It would have continued to grow -- and most likely would have spread and metasticized to other organs if I'd have had to wait until the age of 50 before I had my first mammogram.
I am outraged at the new recommendations by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force. This is a huge step backwards in the fight against breast cancer.