Cancer Society Chief Says More Screening Will Save More Lives

The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms, starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women 50 to 74 get a mammogram every two years.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force study in 2009 recommended against mammograms for asymptomatic women in their 40s. The task force also recommended that women 75 and older not be screened regularly for breast cancer.

More on breast cancer screenings in the Dallas Morning News.

Comments (5)

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  1. Joe Barnett says:

    Individual choice should prevail. The concern of women covered by government health programs should be that they might be denied that choice.

  2. aurelius says:

    Call me a conspiracy theorist, but you have to wonder if someone high up in the USPSTF is concerned about increasing health costs so they are pushing for fewer screenings in certain areas, such as mammograms.

    We would have to know in what other areas involving medical screenings the advice of the USPSTF differs from that of the American Cancer Society and how it differs.

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    By contrast, two physicians writing today in the New York Times argues that… Endless Screenings Don’t Bring Everlasting Health

  4. Chris says:

    ” Individual choice should prevail. The concern of women covered by government health programs should be that they might be denied that choice.”

    If I decide AND PAY FOR a Jaguar versus a Civic, is that the same as to whether I close an MRI for my breast cancer screen (versus a mammogram) that my employer pays for? Choice is so much easier when I don’t have to pay for it

  5. Linda Gorman says:

    The papers referenced in the USPSTF were quite explicit that if it was interested in saving lives it would recommend mammograms for younger women. If it was interested in reducing overall costs, it would not.

    This blog discussed this back in 2009: http://healthblog.ncpa.org/new-mammogram-standard-how-much-is-your-life-worth/

    The experience in Canada, the UK, and Europe suggests that it is virtually impossible for individual choice to prevail in health systems run by government. Government run systems invariably end up concerned with population averages at the expense of individual well-being.