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I am 54 years old, worked in cancer care for many years (as an R.N.) and had annual mammograms between 40 and 50. Then I began to question their value as I was concerned about radiation exposure. I had no family history of breast cancer and aside from age and no children, had no risk factors for breast cancer. I decided on my own to reduce the frequency of mammograms to every two years. What if somehow a cancer crops up in that two years that was there a year ago? I reason that it's probably aggressive and likely would not be as amenable to cure. That happens even with annual mammography.
With regard to the outrage and skepticism about this new finding, I recall in the 1980s when French researchers suggested that early stage breast cancer could be effectively treated with lumpectomy, radiation, and chemo. Surgeons and many of their patients adamantly refused to believe that anything less than radical and modified radical mastectomies were sufficient treatment for ANY breast cancer. Curiously, many women continued to opt for the disfiguring surgery many years after it was proven that it wasn't necessary.
Rather than quibble about these findings, women should take an open mind. Medical care will constantly evolve. Just as we recently learned that estrogens may offer no benefit to women, it may be true that our obsession with cancer screening may offer no benefit.
WRT arguments that this is a cost-saving effort, perhaps all the angry women should consider the extent to which profit motives figure in frequent mammography. Medical device manufactureres are making money on all those mammograms, and to what extent have they figured in the recommendations for more frequent mammography?
posted 3 years, 6 months ago
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