New breast cancer recommendations

What do you all think of these? (Don’t get mammograms until you’re 50 and don’t do self-exams, for those that haven’t heard.)

If I was the paranoid conspiracy theory type that I am I would think this is a taste of what government healthcare will be. The same stuff HMOs do that cost lives but worse.

Mammograms aren’t perfect for both false positives and negatives, that costs money with further testing so they throw the baby out with the bathwater to save a buck. If it costs lives so be it.

What really makes me think that way is the self-exam part of the new recommendations. Why on earth would they say not to check yourself for suspicious changes? Shouldn’t everyone be doing that to every part of their body?
“Ehh, don’t bother keeping an eye on any moles.”

Everyone I know who’s had breast cancer had it before they were 50. Those that have died from it didn’t catch it early.

I’m waiting for them to come out with a similar recommendation about not checking for testicular cancer until after 50 since it’s extremely rare after 40 and has a good cure rate if caught early.

One of my closest friends just died of breast cancer. She was 48. She never even knew she HAD breast cancer! She started having severe abdominal pain, went to the doctor, underwent testing, and was found to have cancer that had metastasized from her breast to her liver. She died within 6 months. Her family thinks she hadn’t had a mammogram and probably never did self-breast exams.

The new recommendations are unsettling. Very unsettling.

i think it’s a bunch of bull.

If they want people to wait until 50, then maybe they should go and talk to breast cancer and inform it that it’s not allowed to show up until the woman’s at least 51…

i’m 30, i’ve checked EVERY month since i was 18 (i don’t have a medical history from my biological sperm donor’s side).

I think that the actual real life evidence shows how wrong the new recommendation is. A local new story here said about 14% of women were dx either by self exam or mammogram under the age of 50.

If it were possible to further sort out risk groups so that only certain women need to be checked that would be great. But there are always those surprises so who can really say?

Also there are the rare cases of really young women getting cancer and men sometimes get breast cancer too, no one ever talks about that. A mammogram wouldn’t work for them though! Just in case you didn’t know this was possible read the brief link.

I hadn’t heard that new recommendation. Does that mean the new government health care would not allow mammograms for women younger than 50? I do not agree with that. And if you get a mammogram at 50 and learn you have cancer would it be too expensive to treat at that time?

The reports were “from the government” yesterday.
Naturally people don’t like it so now it’s claimed that was “from an independent” and the government is saying nothing has changed. But Sebielius is also claiming that was GWB appointees what issued it, seems they can’t make up their mind if it was an independent or government. Whole lotta backpedaling going on.

Now that I’ve read todays news on it conflicting with yesterday’s news the conspiracy theorist in me thinks this was the government issuing it through someone they could deny to see how bad of healthcare they can get away with.

Nobody knows what the new healthcare will be and yesterday didn’t say mammograms would be denied with it. It just said the new recommendations were not to get mammograms or do self-exams before age 50.
Yesterday it was official, today it is not.
Even the group that issued the recommendation is doing some backpedaling today.

I had not seen this either, but it doesn’t surprise me. If we don’t test before 50 and don’t find anything questionable; it might be beyond a certain stage (when found) that the new medical insurance will agree to pay for. Therefore, we might be selected not to receive needed treatment.

Americans need to wake up and realize that a mandatory health care system will become selective at some point in time and there will be those that will receive lesser care and followup or none at all for certain problems.

BWHAHA I highly doubt it has ANYTHING to do with mandatory government healthcare and everything to do with the ability of the insurance company being able to cover even LESS women’s preventable care than they already do.

Women who have to pay for their own healthcare that is not provided have to specifically search for insurance that will cover women’s preventative medicine. Most insurance won’t even cover maternity. It’s ridiculous.

It was state by state but many places have mandated that insurance covers mammograms and PSAs. I think that was going around in the '90s. Only one state does not mandate mammograms be covered. Many places also have free screenings.

Insurance shouldn’t cover maternity without an additional rider. It’s not like babies happen randomly by pollen floating in the wind.
IL also mandates maternity care coverage, 18 states do.

There’s more to this than we’ve been told. I can understand saying mammograms aren’t reliable enough (my sister had a lump that the mammogram wouldn’t pick up after they already knew it was a lump) but why say not to do self-exams? And why would the government be the one to say it instead of someone like the Cancer Society or Komen?

I am concerned as breast cancer runs in my family. I looked up what the policy is in the UK (I am not sure this is true, as I don’t live there or know anyone who does), but just by looking into it on a few websites, I read that their Gov’t healthcare system there has guidelines of offering mammograms only to women aged 50-70 and only every 3 years!! I read that they were thinking of extending this to aged 47-73 year olds. Is this what we have to look forward to with Govt healthcare?? There is a diffence between having to pay for it yourself and having it not available at all.
I would like to do some research into what exactly is offered in the UK and Canadian Govt healthcare system in regard to mammograms. Does anyone have knowledge of this?

Mike, I agree with you. I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist, but this report just set off the bells and whistles for me. Breast cancer is being found in women younger and younger each year. I think a yearly mammogram should be mandatory for all women beginning with their first visit to the GYN when they are teenagers. It should be covered by insurance, too.

No entity can tell people to stop checking their own bodies for strange lumps, bumps and moles. Having said that, I must say that I certainly don’t have it written on the calender to do my breast self-exam on the second Tuesday of every month. It’s just sort of a natural thing that you do daily when bathing and dressing. And if I feel something odd, you can bet I’m going to the doctor.

I’ve been getting yearly mammograms since I was 35 (I just turned 40) and my insurance has covered it every time because my mother had breast cancer. Now, the funny thing is, I just told my doctor that my mom had breast cancer and, because of the family history, the insurance covered it. My mom does not go to the same doctor as me and I don’t think my doctor actually checked out my “story”. Why wouldn’t everyone then start having mammograms as soon as possible. Just saying.

This too will blow over. They were just testing the water to see if anyone would even notice the story. We are not sheep and there are just some things that we will not tolerate. Although, I also don’t think this was something that was trying to be worked into any health care reform.

i think i’ll keep my private health care…

they pay 100% of all diagnostic testing and i’m not sure about the coverage for treatment of cancer…

Talk about feeding my paranoid conspiracy.
I didn’t think of checking into other national healthcare policies. That really makes it seem like they were poking around to see what the reactions would be.
They should’ve known Komen and the Cancer Society wouldn’t go along with it.

There is also information on the computer that the Canadian govt healthcare system has the same age guidlines 50-70, but you are allowed to get a mammogram every 2 years instead of every three in the UK. Does anyone have information on this?
It also said that pap tests are given every 2 years. One of my many questions is after age 70 what do you do? are you considered too old for it to matter if you get breast cancer? Is this what we have to look forward to? I also would like to keep my private insurance. But I think that will be impossible if this new health care idea gets passed

The sister of one of my husband’s friends died from breast cancer while in her 20s.

The government taking over health care really scares me.

I did some checking today and the place the originally issued this is most definitely government. Their web suffix is a .gov.

Thankfully we’re not the nation of sheep they seem to think we are and the cancer orgs came out against this in force.

Just wanted to share this link about Mammography from Health Canada. If you read the first two sections under the heading “When to Have a Mammogram” you’ll see that they recommend that all women between 50 and 69 have a mammogram every two years. It also says that "your doctor will recommend mammograms at intervals based on your particular needs even if you are outside the 50-69 age range."
So it’s based an individual patients needs.
Any mammogram you get whether part of the screening programs or doctor requested is paid for by the government.

This might be TMI, but here it is.

They’re also stating that we don’t need as many pap smears, or as often. When I was 39, one year to the day after having a pap smear in another state. Brand new doctor (soon became good friend) and the first thing she said was, from under the sheet, “Um, I don’t like all these red cells I’m seeing.”

Sent off the pap, long story short, a month later, I’m having a hysterectomy for STAGE 4 uterine and cervical cancer. STAGE 4! If I had waited for two years, it would have metasticized further, and my husband widowed, my son growing up without me.

So, we start these tests later on women who cannot afford their own insurance or exams, the result is that the government pays less over the lifetime of the woman for medical treatment. Especially breast cancer, what the hell are they thinking? Even saying we don’t need to do our own monthly checks. I personally have three friends who saved their own lives when they found lumps, and then sought care.

If I have to pay for my own yearly testing, I’ll do that. We’re both on SSDI, but if I have to work part time it’ll happen.

We, women and men, have to take charge of our own health and DEMAND that we recieve the care we should. It’s mainly for our families, at least to me, I’ve seen too many grieving families over the years.

I’m not American, so i don’t know what the recommendations were before. I will not start a Government healthcare argument, i know that many Americans think of it as the worst thing ever and feed on false reports about other countries, but that’s a separate topic. Here, if a Dr. suspects a lump after examination, he will send you either to mammogram or US to check it. I’m only 28, and i had US’s+biopsy, mammogram AND MRI done to rule out breast cancer. All within our Government healthcare, no extra charge. Women over 50 get mammogram every 2 years with [U]NO referral[/U] from the Dr. That means if the Dr. thinks you need it even at the age of 18 - you’ll get it. As someone who did all these tests - i think that the recommendations are not because of the money issue - all the Dr’s i saw said they don’t like to do mammogram to younger women because of the radiation and prefer to start with US and they also don’t trust self examining, because you can miss something. So I would go and visit my Dr. every 6 months for professional examination rather than try and do it myself.

I’m in Canada.I go every 2 years for a mammogram through Cancer Care Ontario.I started when I was 50 and they contact me every 2 years,I also get a breast exam and teaching if needed and they encourage monthly self exams.
We have to be vigilant and pro-active about our health and I am, especially in the areas where I have a family history or risk factors(like heart disease for me)but I don’t believe we need loads of tests,x-rays,US etc. just because they’re available.I have no family history of cancer of any kind and no lifestyle risk factors so my mammogram schedule is right FOR me