Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Time For a Change?

"A government task force said Monday that most women don't need mammograms in their 40s and should get one every two years starting at 50 — a stunning reversal and a break with the American Cancer Society's long-standing position. What's more, the panel said breast self-exams do no good, and women shouldn't be taught to do them."

Sounds unbelievable, doesn't it? Things sure have changed! Yet that's what a panel of "experts" is supposedly proposing. I was stunned last night as I heard that announcement on a news channel and then read about it just now.

I was diagnosed at age 43, which was 4 years ago. After reading about this new proposal, however, I couldn't help thinking that if I'd had to wait until I turn 50 to receive my first mammogram, I am quite certain that I would not be alive to write this post. My tumor was quite small, but it was grade 3, the most aggressive type. It was also classified as being "HER-2 positive," another characteristic that makes it extremely aggressive. Fortunately, it was noted on a mammogram and confirmed by a biopsy.

And I have no risk factors. Under the new guidelines suggested, I would be one of the women who would not have been eligible for a mammogram or biopsy at age 43.

Sure, many biopsies turn out to be negative, meaning no cancer present. However, the biopsy is one test that I believe is worth the money. Quite simply, it saved my life. Same is true for the mammogram.

Let's hope this new proposal doesn't come into effect. There's just far too much at stake, namely our lives. This is one change I'll not support.


WhiteStone said...

Women of America, Rise Up and Roar!

I sputtered when I read this news.

WhiteStone said...

Tried commenting once and didn't work. I sputtered when I read that news article. Perhaps "fumed" is a better word!

Debby said...

Stunned. Just stunned. I found my own lump.

Daria said...

I was diagnosed at 39 ... these news articles make me crazy.