Routine Breast Cancer Screenings Dropped to Age 40

[Leslie Carol Botha: Whether breast cancer screenings are recommended for women age 40 or 50 – is a mute point, when in fact mammograms are proving to be dangerous. Do a monthly self-breast exam is still important.  And if you choose to have a mammogram – make sure it is not scheduled during the paramenstrum when your immune system is at its lowest level.]

AMA Bucks USPSTF on Mammography

MedPage Today
By Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
Published: June 19, 2012

CHICAGO — The American Medical Association’s House of Delegates has come out in support of screening mammography for women starting at age 40.

The new policy is in conflict with the controversial 2009 recommendation of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) that routine screening mammography for breast cancer was unnecessary in women younger than 50.

The House of Delegates stopped short of recommending that “every woman should get routine screening mammograms every year starting at age 40.” Strongly debated in Tuesday morning’s session, that language was rejected by the delegates in favor of a lighter “should be eligible” phrasing.

In a further slap at the federal task force, the House of Delegates voted to adopt a resolution stating that the AMA “expresses concern regarding recent recommendations by the USPSTF on screening mammography and prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening and the effects these recommendations have on limiting access to preventive care for Americans.”

The firestorm that followed the USPSTF recommendations attracted congressional attention from legislators, and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius eventually issued a statement emphasizing that the USPSTF does not set health policy.

A number of medical groups, including the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology , and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists disagreed with the USPSTF recommendations and said women younger than 50 benefit from having routine mammograms.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.