The news hit yesterday that the US Preventive Services Task Force now recommends that routine annual mammograms be delayed until age 50 rather than 40 as has been the accepted standard. Are you kidding? For Black women, our risk of breast cancer is so high–especially in younger women–that we should be getting mammograms earlier, not later!
Want to know how they made this decision? The Task Force says, “computer models that report getting mammograms too early may cause more harm than good. In younger women, the chance of a false result outweighs the small benefit.” Harm to who?
And they further recommend that women between the ages of 50 to 79 have mammograms every other year–not even annually!
Computer models? What about the very real risk that very real women have? This is so ridiculous that I can’t even control my outrage!!! I’m not alone. The American Cancer Society (ACS) argues, “that the government is placing more emphasis on computer models than real patients!” ACS reaffirmed their recommendation for baseline mammograms to be done beginning at age 40.
Oh yeah, one other thing. The Task Force also recommends against teaching breast self-examinations! Hey, I personally know loads of breast cancer survivors who found their cancer by breast self-exam. Literally taking your breast into your own hands can save your life!
So ladies, don’t believe what this particular governmental Task Force is selling. Insist on mammograms! Do your breast self-exam every month. Spread the word!
WeSpeakLoudly did a comprehensive guide on breast health in last month’s issue of WHOLE–our e-newsletter. Follow this link to the October WHOLE, and be sure to share it with all your sistah friends, family, and co-workers. Now more than every we must be pro-active in protecting our health. Clearly some in our government don’t concern themselves with the real dangers of late diagnosis of breast cancer. APPALLING!!!