Delaying Mammograms Until After 50?

by Anne Holmes on November 18, 2009

I learned about the latest government study while listening to The Early Show and was shocked. One of the recommendations is for women to delay mammograms until age 50.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task force, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality did the study and published the results this week. The decision was based on the impact of mammography on breast-cancer deaths.

They also recommended that women between the ages of 50 and 74 have mammograms every two years instead of every year. On a personal note, I’ve always gone annually, and currently have a six month sonogram scheduled due to an unusual finding. I hate to think about the possibilities if I went every two years.

Another ridiculous recommendation is that women are no longer urged to do self-examinations since it doesn’t seem to significantly reduce the risk of death from breast cancer.

Does this sound ridiculous to you? Don’t we all know someone who found a lump during self-examination, then went to the doctor and learned it was malignant?

I was hoping that women wouldn’t listen, but I heard on another news show last evening that one mammography center received more cancellations yesterday than ever before.

I don’t get it. I was guessing that women wouldn’t listen. I have a hunch that the majority won’t because most of us have known someone who benefitted from early detection. Even one life saved from preventative medicine is enough.

It also saddens me that the money spent on this study could have been better spent on finsing a cure for breast cancer.

What do you think? You are welcome to post here, or in the forums at

Previous post:

Next post: