November 20, 2009
A comment in today’s Wall Street Journal (accompanied by a large picture of a very angry Congresswoman) should not go unnoticed and cannot be left unchallenged, especially given the confusion caused by the mammography guidelines released earlier this week.
The story as reported in the Journal is headlined, “Group Issues Clarification on Mammography Advice.”
And here is the comment from the vice-chair of the Task Force:
"The task force is not against women having mammograms in their 40s," Dr. Petitti said in an interview. Instead, she said, it is in favor of women in that age range deciding on their own, after consulting with their doctors, whether to undergo regular screenings.”
Here is the recommendation as published by the Task Force:
“The USPSTF recommends against routine screening mammography in women aged 40 to 49 years. (emphasis mine) The decision to start regular, biennial screening mammography before the age of 50 years should be an individual one and take patient context into account, including the patient’s values regarding specific benefits and harms. This is a C recommendation.”
You can draw your own conclusions. No wonder women are confused.