Thursday, November 19, 2009

Preventative Care is Never Stupid

In case you were wondering how I felt about the new "guidelines" for breast cancer screening, I'll tell you right up front: I think that they suck, and that they're designed to save the insurance companies money, and of course, right now I'm pissed off at insurance companies as a whole. I hate that they even exist. As an impressively fierce friend of mine says, "Everyone needs health care; no one needs health insurance."

I found an article with quotes that echo my sentiments on the latest news at "".
“I just think that’s irresponsible,” said Janet Cheney, 58, of East Bridgewater, a breast cancer survivor diagnosed in 2001 at age 50.

“The death toll is too high,” Cheney said. “It’s kind of like saying let’s lower the drinking age and see how many more people we can kill.”
“As a practicing surgeon who takes care of these patients, the surgeons I’ve spoken to, (we) are very upset with this,” said Dr. David Drinkwater, chief of surgery at Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital and president of Signature Medical Group.

The guidelines offer a “very narrowly focused” statistical view of breast cancer, stating the cancer rate in women between 40 and 50 is not high enough to justify the risks associated with mammograms and biopsies, Drinkwater said.
So there you go. It's true that the majority of women don't have breast cancer, but why in the world would you leave off a check on something like that for 2 years? And if you were - let's say that you're really concerned about radiation, and you don't want to have a mammogram every year, so you want to go the every 2 years route - not doing self-exams to make sure that you're lump-free in the meantime? Did I read that this government task force is recommending against self-exams because they can cause uncessary anxiety?

I call bullshit. Right there.

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