Task Force Punts On Women Under 50, Jeopardizing Access To Mammograms

April 20, 2015 9:06 PM

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The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has drafted new guidelines for breast cancer screening. In its first review since 2009, the government-sponsored panel found that mammography’s benefit is real but small for women 40 to 49 years, warranting a “C” recommendation and advice to women to make individualized decisions. For those between 50 and 74 years, the USPSTF recommends screening biennially rather than each year.

My greatest concern is the lack of firm advice for women in their forties to get screened. If you consider the long-term benefits of finding invasive cancer early in middle-aged women, what matters for mammography is not 5-year survival but how those affected live 10, 15, 20 and even 25 years beyond...

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