No one doubts that mammograms save lives! The new guidelines issued recently by the government task force on mammograms states: annual mmamography for women over age 50, rather than age 40, should be the norm because of the high rate of false positives and the costly biopsies that follow. The United States has had a 30% decrease in the death rate from breast cancer since the advent of wide spread screening and annual mammograms starting at age forty.
When women under 50 are diagnosed with breast cancer, the cancer tends to be more aggressive. If women in the general population get fewer mammograms in this age group, there will be a failure to diagnose cancer early and fewer lives will be saved.
What the government task force has essentially stated is the risk of false positives does not justify the expense of early breast cancer detection. If health insurance companies follow these new guidelines, mortality rates from breast cancer will rise, as will insurance company profits. The American Cancer Society is not changing its recommendations that women get routine annual mammograms starting at age 40.
Attention Women of New York, Women Everywhere, whether you live in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester, Long Island, Staten Island or Upstate, PLEASE DISREGARD THE NEW GOVERNMENT TASK FORCE GUIDELINES ON MAMMOGRAMS!