Opinion

More Women, Not Less Need Mammograms

I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 21 and found the lump by accident, so no official screening guidelines really would have helped me. However, it goes without saying that the earlier you detect something in irregular in your breasts, the better your chance of survival. I’m not sure what this government task force thinks they are accomplishing by pushing back the age to 50 for mammograms.

When I was diagnosed, I would not have planned on getting my first mammogram until I was thirty -- which is ten years before my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. In my opinion, the age for mammograms needs to be younger, not older.

If private insurance companies start following these guidelines, a lot of women are going to be in danger of losing their lives. I’m glad to see that it doesn’t seem like any other prominent leaders in breast cancer -- like the American Cancer Society are going along with this. I think that many people would like to know what information this government task force is using to back up the claim that women don’t need mammograms until they are 50. More and more cases of breast cancer are in women who are pre-menopausal, and those cases of cancer in younger women are the most deadly because they are not caught in time.

Ten years is a huge span of time to not get checked for breast cancer. At the rate that my tumor was grew, if I had found it less than a month later, I might not have made it. This is often the case with many women who catch irregularities at the last minute. 

Woman cannot afford to wait two years in between mammograms. -- And they certainly can’t put off getting their first one for ten years. You can only detect so much by being diligent with breast self-exams, we need access to the technology of mammograms to save lives.

Colleen Cappon is a breast cancer survivor. She currently works for Fox News Channel.

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