(Ignore) The Revised Guidelines

There have been abundant discussions about the recent and radical changes in the recommendations for screening breast cancer and I’d like to add my two cents.  First of all, I find it tremendously suspicious that these “unbiased” guidelines are coming out at the same time that the health care reform bill is gaining steam.  Secondly:

a) Mammograms are not perfect, but for now they are the best imaging tool in detecting breast cancer.  If you have NO known risk factors I believe that a base line test at 40 (not 50)  is still a good idea, and then once a year or once every two years is a good check-up time.  If there are any red flags in your history than obviously heed your doctor’s recommendations.

b) Even more importantly than mammograms are self exams (in my opinion) and the recent asinine comment that self exams offer little detection IS CRAZY MAKING!  It’s basic common sense; know your body and all of its parts and always watch for any changes!  My mammogram showed a false negative because the tumor was so close to my chest wall, so my knowledge of my own body was an important part for my early detection.  So, please do your monthly exams so at the very least you become familiar with all of the normal lumps and bumps!

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