US doctors ignore mammogram advice -

US doctors ignore mammogram advice

Many will continue examining patients for breast cancer at age 40


Although new federal recommendations say that women should start breast cancer screening at age 50, not 40, several doctors told the New York Times they would not be following this advice. The new guidelines, aimed at reducing overtreatment, pointed out that the benefits of screening women in their 40s, which would save one life for every 1,904 women screened for 10 years, were outweighed by the potential for unnecessary tests and treatment, as well as the anxiety. High risk women, however, should still have early screening, the panel urged. But doctors said their patients would feel differently. “My patients tell me they can live with a little anxiety and distress but they can’t live with a little cancer,” Dr. Carolyn Runowicz, director of the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut, told the newspaper. And the numbers cited don’t “mean anything until you’re the one,” said Dr. Jacques Moritz, director of gynecology at Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan. “No doubt about it, I’m going to say, “Well, you really don’t need it,” and they’re going to say: “You don’t understand. I’m getting the mammogram. I’m not going to take the chance to be the one person that has it.” ” Most doctors said they’d tell low-risk, younger women that the recommendations said they didn’t need mammograms, and that they would point out that other groups‹including the American Cancer Society and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists‹have maintained earlier guidelines.

New York Times

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