New Breast Cancer Prevention Guidelines Causing Confusion
A new set of guidelines for the prevention of breast cancers among women is creating confusion, not to mention dismay, among the public. For example, a woman should start annual check-ups at the age of 50 rather than the current practice of 40. That’s 10 years of possible time that one may develop and die from breast cancer.
Federal advisory panel US Preventive Services Task Force announced Monday, November 16, 2009 that only women between the ages 50 and 74 should get mammograms. Women should also do the tests every two years.
The task force analysis indicates that only 1 out of 1,904 women from 40-50 years old are diagnosed with the deadly cancer. This outweighs the numerous unnecessary tests and screenings that may bring about anxiety to the patient.
However, doctors already stated that they cannot change immediately to the new guidelines and would be sticking to the currently used guidelines. Patients, they said, are willing to have little anxiety and distress rather than live with small, little signs of cancer.
The American Cancer Society is promoting, and insisting, the current setup which is women 40 years and above should undergo mammograms and clinical breast exams annually.