These scientists must be foot soldiers in the Rebublican War on Women, since they question the need for unfettered mammograms (and free! no co-pay!), Mammograms leading to unnecessary treatment, study finds:

The routine use of mammograms has led to more than 1 million women being unnecessarily treated for breast cancer over the past three decades, according to the latest scientific report to cast skepticism on the effectiveness of the test.

The study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluded that nearly one-third of women diagnosed with breast cancer would never have developed the full-blown disease if left untreated.

Nevertheless, in such cases patients typically undergo invasive procedures such as surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and chemotherapy, said H. Gilbert Welch, a coauthor of the study and a professor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. “These are major medical interventions and they’re certainly not something you would want to undergo if you didn’t need to,” he said.

The researchers also concluded that today’s sharply lower death rate for breast cancer is mainly due to factors such as improved treatments rather than early detection through mammograms….

The report is the latest study to undermine the once-strong consensus that regular screenings are crucial to safeguarding women’s health. Just in the past two years, a major study of Norwegian breast cancer patients found that routine mammograms reduced the risk of dying from breast cancer by less than 10 percent. Another study found no effect on death rates when comparing European nations where screening became prevalent in the 1990s with those where it became widespread in the 2000s.

But not to worry, those science-based Democrats, who never would substitute belief for evidence, have set the record straight:

Even before those findings, in November 2009, a key federal panel revised its guidelines on mammograms to say that women should begin regular screenings at age 50 rather than age 40, and then get the exam every other year rather than annually.

However, that revision by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, made as Congress was crafting the new health-care law, was assailed not only by groups such as the American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology but also by the Obama administration.

In 2010, lawmakers tweaked a mandate in the health-care law requiring insurers to cover preventive services recommended by the task force free of charge. The law specifies that when it comes to mammograms, insurers must follow the task force’s old guidelines.

How old are mammograms?

I don’t know, I’m not a scientist, man.

 
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