Why I Hate the New Mammogram Guidelines

Twenty years ago, the writer, then 34, had a mammogram she feels saved her life.

I urge anyone endorsing or thinking of implementing these new recommendations to think of themselves as fathers, mothers, sisters, friends of someone with an undiagnosed breast tumor festering unknown because they were denied the only useful diagnostic tool we have. I urge them to ignore the statistics they cite that you’d have to test 1900 women to detect one with breast cancer.

Ask any woman and I’m sure she’ll tell you the same thing: that she’d rather go through the “anxiety” and “inconvenience” of an unnecessary biopsy than live with the knowledge that there is something out there that can potentially save her life that she cannot have access to because of the inconsequential “numbers.” I’ll bet she’d rather be “overtreated” than be left in the dark.

And another message I have: until there are more answers than questions, please stop studying the numbers and study the people like me and thousands others, instead.
 

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