This has been a very intense time with the announcement from the U-S Preventive Services Task Force. The task force is recommending that women under the age of 50 forgo getting a mammogram because it doesn't benefit a patient. The report says " The harms resulting from screening for breast cancer include psychological harms, unnecessary imaging tests and biopsies in women without cancer, and inconvenience due to false-positive screening results.
I have been swamped with emails from viewers, many survivors themselves who are struggling with these new guidelines. For these women under the age of 50, it's hard to imagine how our lives would be different if we weren't going in for regular mammogram or if we hadn't been doing breast self-exam. I'm sure there are a lot of false positives but if there's one person whose life is saved, to me it's worth it.
The emails from viewers express outrage, frustration and almost a feeling of betrayal. The very people who'd been telling us for years to start mammogram's at the age of 40 are now reversing their recommendations. It's mind boggling!
As for me and my friends, we will continue doing monthly breast self-exams… who better to notice a problem early than a woman in tune with her own body! I know many doctors are concerned about the change, especially if insurance companies follow the guidelines and discontinue paying for the mammogram. We need to remain vigilant and aware and remind those in higher positions that saving 1 life in 1900 is worth it! Just ask my kids… I was 41 with no family history. If I hadn't been doing BSE or getting a regular mammogram, it would have been nine years before my cancer would have been found. Who knows how different my life would have been today.
Breast Cancer Survivor
Six in the Morning Anchor