What was the Task Force rationale?
The harms of mammography including discomfort, anxiety and possible overtreatment outweigh the marked reduction in the death rate resulting from regular screening.
Many women are now confused and asking the question,
“I’m under 40 do I still need an annual mammogram?”Earlier this year, I lost Judy, a dear friend and colleague, to cancer. She was 49. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer at age 42 when an abnormal mass was detected during her annual mammogram screening. Her reoccurrence came at age 47.
A few years ago, I asked Judy to give a presentation to my professional organization on a business related topic. She agreed to do so with one condition; she would be allowed to mention she was a breast cancer survivor and encourage every member to begin annual mammogram screenings at age 40.
This one is for you Judy:
While digital mammography is not perfect, it is currently the best tool available to detect breast cancer. Ignore the task force and continue scheduling annual mammograms every year beginning at age 40.