Bad Advice

I guess members of a US federal task force do not have breasts.  Their family members do not have breasts and neither does anyone else they care about.

This government group has issued new guidelines for breast cancer screening that recommend fewer mammograms and to delay them until a woman is over 50.  They claim that the hassles and expenses of extra screening and biopsies that turn out to be negative outweigh the benefits of saving some younger womens’ lives.  The disease usually targets older women but it also preys on younger ones and on men.  (Peter Criss of Kiss is a breast cancer survivor.)

Now, if a doctor recommends a mammogram for, say, a 35 year old woman who has a high family history, her insurance company could conceivably deny covering it. However some doctors are already saying they’re going to defy the recommendations and do what they feel is best.  They do warn that if insurance companies deny a woman who ends up dying of the disease, that company can expect to fall to its knees from the lawsuit that will follow.

It comes down to money.  I’m absolutely not a conspiracy theorist. I don’t think the government has an agenda that would prefer to kill people just like I don’t think the media think with one mind and operate in one mode.  Perhaps it looks fiscally responsible to do the math on how many lives are saved versus how many mammograms come up clear and the expense of so many negative results.  But for my tax dollar, I’d rather “waste” millions in cash and buy the peace of mind, or early detection for some of my sisters and brothers.