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How old do you think mammograms are?

How old do you think mammograms are?

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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My mother passed away from Breast cancer, so this topic is personal to me. She detected the cancer herself, by doing a monthly self examination. There was no mammogram involved. She had a lump-ectomy, but elected at the time to not have chemotherapy after radiation. This was in the early 1980’s, so there wasn’t a consensus on oncology treatments at that time. Well, the cancer survived, and metastatized over the ocurse of the next 15 years. She was a survivor til the last moment (tautology, but she had the iron will.) Mammograms are helpful, but they shouldn’t be mandatory, and self-breast examination by women is STILL the best method for catching early signs of tumors.

It’s ironic. The left pathologically insists that women breast-feed instead of nursing with formula. Yet under Obamacare, they are greedy about providing mammograms to people with breasts.

So you realize, that with breast cancer advancing into more severe stages under the greediness of Obamacare, there will soon be less women with breasts. This will require more women to nurse using formula.

Of course, Obamacare is excluded to the president, Congress and certain auto worker unions. So it is only natural that by the evolutionary process, federal elected officials and their daughters — as well as auto workers’ — can be identified by their having boobs.

BannedbytheGuardian | November 22, 2012 at 2:02 am

Americans are way over emotnal about breast cancer.

mammograms for women over 50. Somewhere between every one &two years.

Younger women who are mothers ought be spared no expense .Their value is immense.

Other ladies -it depends on resources private & public but most can hang on in there past the 5 year survival zone. Things have definitely improved with science . increasingly it is just an awful but not deadly time.

If it sounds like a death panel, and rules like a death panel, then it’s probably a death panel.

The same argument can be made for prostate cancer screening – early detection does not improve survival rates, but does increase the amount of medical work performed in treating the newly discovered cancer and the side effects of treatments. I suspect we will soon hear that colonoscopies are similarly not helping cure colorectal cancer.

The flip side of all this is that the incidence of stomach cancer and associated mortality has declined by 90% in the past 80 years or so, without any improvement in available treatments. The medical establishment is not interested in the reasons behind this decline as evidenced by the lack of research on the subject. The obvious implication is that cancer in adults may be largely environmental in origin, and therefore preventable. Which in turn would mean less work for oncologists.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to bawatkins. | November 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    There are extensive studies in Japan. That show the benefits of refrigeration freezing & other improved forms of food preservation . it might even be supermarkets & transport cutting the time period from fresh to table.

When the USPSTF announced it’s reccomendations several years ago. Those of us working in the field knew that they would be forced to back down. The groups that need the power and money that come with overtreatment. (The Komen foundation would dry up without it’s survivers and near-survivers.)
Meanwhile, people who study medicine are familar with “Number needed to treat” and “Number Needed to Harm.” That is to say the number of people you need to run a test on to catch an actual illness vs. the number of people who are harmed by running the test. Breast Cancer and Prostate cancer screenings (specifically, PSA) have stunningly high NNH:NNT ratio. For PSA testing something like 5 of 6 are false positives and of the 1/6 remaining, biopsy shows a slow growing non-leathal condition (possibly not even cancer) in many cases.
But (in breast cancer specifically) this narrative has been created that without screening people die in the streets. So it was natural that Obama would make this a wedge issue in his healthcare bill, it’s become nearly impossible to attack (even though it’s bad science.)

For fascist movements, bad science is good business.