Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Government not waiting for health care bill to pass to start messin' with you

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a government panel that makes influential recommendations on medical care practices, is now recommending that women not get mammogram breast cancer screening until age 50, and then only every two years. The current practice is to start at age 40 and then test annually thereafter.
"We're not saying women shouldn't get screened. Screening does saves lives," said Diana B. Petitti, vice chairman of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which released the recommendations Monday in a paper being published in Tuesday's Annals of Internal Medicine. "But we are recommending against routine screening. There are important and serious negatives or harms that need to be considered carefully."

Several patient advocacy groups and many breast cancer experts welcomed the new guidelines, saying they represent a growing recognition that more testing, exams and treatment are not always beneficial and, in fact, can harm patients. Mammograms produce false-positive results in about 10 percent of cases, causing anxiety and often prompting women to undergo unnecessary follow-up tests, sometimes-disfiguring biopsies and unneeded treatment, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Not everybody is so excited about the new guidelines. Such as people who actually know what the fuck they're talking about:
But the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and other experts condemned the change, saying the benefits of routine mammography have been clearly demonstrated and play a key role in reducing the number of mastectomies and the death toll from one of the most common cancers.

"Tens of thousands of lives are being saved by mammography screening, and these idiots want to do away with it," said Daniel B. Kopans, a radiology professor at Harvard Medical School. "It's crazy -- unethical, really."
And just in case you don't think that this is the Democrats' idea of the future of health care:
The new recommendations took on added significance because under health-care reform legislation pending in Congress, the conclusions of the 16-member task force would set standards for what preventive services insurance plans would be required to cover at little or no cost.
A favorite cry of the Left in the abortion debate is "Hands off my body!", but I guess that doesn't apply here.


Mr. Bingley said...

This could be the chance for me to get that "Manual Screening Clinic" of mine going...

Eric said...

Damn, Bing...what an outstanding idea!