As we know, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggested earlier this month that most women can wait until they’re 50 before they get a mammogram, and then they need only get them every other year, not yearly starting at age 40, as has been the practice.
The task force also suggested women ease up on breast self-examinations. Why? I haven’t a clue, other than some discussions about women not being able to emotionally handle any lumps they find, cancerous or not. This, boys and girls, strikes me as unmitigated crap. I can handle a change in treatment suggestions — though the secretary of Health and Human Services rather quickly responded to the hue and outcry and said never mind, go ahead and do what you’ve been doing.
But telling us not to self-exam? That makes no sense to me. Knowledge is power, after all.
For further discussion, read the Rev. Marilyn Sewell’s take on it at Beacon Broadside. For even more discussion, read George Lakoff at AlterNet, who says the new guidelines could kill tens of thousands of women.