Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

The new breast cancer screening guidelines are distressing to me. All my doctors disagree with this. They also said it was just one group and the American Cancer Society does not agree with this. They say:

--Most women in their 40s should not routinely get mammograms.

--Women 50 to 74 should get a mammogram every other year until they turn 75, after which the risks and benefits are unknown. (The task force's previous guidelines had no upper limit and called for exams every year or two.)

--The value of breast exams by doctors is unknown. And breast self-exams are of no value.

This makes no sense to me. I found my cancer. Why no self exams? If I had not found it and waited until 50 for a mammogram I would surely die of it. Some people say it is a risk due to radiation. The radiation from a digital mammogram is the same amount you would get in a cross country flight, and no one is saying we shouldn't be flying. If anything they should be saying everyone should get a mammogram and a sonogram every year.

Breast Cancer Statistics

1 out of every 8 American women will develop breast cancer at some point in her life (This risk is 1 in 7 on Long Island)

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women ages 40 to 55 (heart disease is the leading cause for womwn of all ages)

250,000 US women living with the disease are under the age of 40

8 out of 9 women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease

70% of women who develop breast cancer have no identifiable risk factors

I have a number of friends who say they are afraid to get a mammogram and sonogram because they are afraid it might be positive. I agree that it is scary. However, the five year survival rate for breast cancer found in its early stages is 96%. If you wait and it is found at stage four, well, you know.

So many people ask me if they can do anything for me. That is really great. I am ok right now but I might need some help during the chemo. The one thing I would like my female friends to do is to go get a mammogram and sonogram. Think of the relief you will have when it comes back negative. The vast majority of them are. Thanks everyone for your support. I love you all!!

No comments:

Post a Comment