Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Breast Cancer Doctors are Stepping Forward Questioning the New Mammogram Guidelines...

Below I have posted Concerns raised by two Breast Cancer Physicians, I will continue to post articles and links.
The Charlotte Article linked to the title raises some concerns about the New Guidelines in these Snippets, do read what Dr.Coomer a Breast Surgeon says about the New Rules :::
"The task force contradicted the American Cancer Society’s guidelines that say all women should get a base mammogram done by the age of 40 – some women considered "high risk" should get a baseline by age 35. The cancer society recommends that women over the age of 40 should have a mammogram repeated annually until the age of 75.

Dr. Cynara Coomer, a breast surgeon at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and Fox News contributor said she disagrees with the new guidelines for several reasons.

"There are many women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer between the ages of 40 and 49, solely on mammogram findings," Coomer said. "Not only that, this is not about survival outcome. This is also about treatment options that are available to women at an earlier stage. If you are diagnosed earlier rather than later, there are more treatment options available and the treatment is much less aggressive."

She goes on to raise more concerns :
"Coomer said 40 percent of the breast cancer patients she sees are under the age of 50 and many of them have been diagnosed from a mammogram.

"These recommendations put women at a risk for being diagnosed at a later stage, and as a result, we’ll see an increase in morbidity and mortality in women with breast cancer," she said.Coomer said all women – especially younger women – should perform self-breast exams periodically, in order to be aware of changes in their breast tissue.

"If you aren’t getting mammograms, and you check yourself, you may feel a lump and that could prompt a further medical workup," Coomer added.

"The other thing is that if the motivation is cost-savings – if we are diagnosing women at a later stage, the cost of taking care of those women will far outweigh the cost that we’ll be saving by decreasing the number of screening mammograms," Coomer added.
Another Radiologist speaks up about his concerns for the for the new rules and the effects it will have on screening. Dr.Petitti has been the main spokesperson on the News reports working with the Government Prevention group, She is NOT a Breast Cancer Doctor or an Oncologist. Please do see the post below about the Prevention Task Force and look at their Credentials, not one is a Breast Cancer Doctor.

"That is, the likelihood of having a false positive test with all the attendant anxiety, the additional imaging tests, perhaps even leading to biopsy that may have been unnecessary," Dr. Diana Petitti with the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force said.

Now below do read Dr.Lackey's Concers as a Breast Cancer Doctor.

"The idea of stopping screenings because somebody's feelings might get hurt is ridiculous," Dr. Charles Lackey with St. Mary's Breast Center said.Dr. Lackey is a breast imaging radiologist with St. Mary's.He said the report ignores previous studies that show a 30 percent reduction in breast cancer deaths in the U.S., and worries the government and insurance companies might base reimbursement decisions on these guidelines, so if women want a mammogram before age 50, they'll have to pay out of pocket.

"That would really result in a lot fewer women doing it, especially in this time of economic downturn," Lackey said. He said that means more cancers detected at advanced stages when women are less likely to survive."This will result in more women dying of breast cancer, and these are our mothers and sisters and wives," Lackey said. "The government is more interested in saving money than in detecting cancer at an early age."

This puts him in the same group as the American Cancer Society, which is alarmed about how these guidelines might impact women's health."

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