Women everywhere should be outraged! New guideline’s about when a woman should get a mammogram to screen for breast cancer and when a woman should get a pap smear test have been set and not for the betterment of women.
New Mammogram Guidelines Say Don’t Self Exam and Wait Until Age 50
The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) is recommending that women wait until they are 50 to start getting yearly mammogram screenings for breast cancer and that women no longer self exam. This is in direct conflict with The American Cancer Society’s recommendation that women start getting yearly mammograms at age 40. According the U.S. Preventive Tasks Service, mammograms expose women to unnecessary radiation, false positive tests and lead to unnecessary biopsies.
According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, the report on the USPSTF states that “the current evidence is insufficient to assess the additional benefits and harms of either digital mammography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) instead of film mammography as screening modalities for breast cancer.” (Source: Screening for Breast Cancer)
Every year, thousands of women self exam for signs of breast cancer and every year thousands of women remain alive because they self examined, found a lump and went to their health care provider. Women should not take this guideline lightly. Many women find cancer early because of early screenings.
Famous Women Who Are Alive
Christina Applegate- diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36 and survived due to early screening and treatment.
Sheryl Crow– diagnosed at age 44 with breast cancer and survived after a lumpectomy and radiation treatment.
Jaclyn Smith– diagnosed with breast cancer at age 56 and is now as survivor.
Melissa Etheridge- diagnosed at age 44 with breast cancer, now a survivor.
Olivia Newton John- diagnosed in 1992 at age 44 with breast cancer, now a survivor and tireless advocate for breast cancer research.
New Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines Set by American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist
In an effort to cut down on unnecessary treatments and potentially harmful treatments, it is now recommended that women not receive pap smear testing until age 21 or within three years of their first sexual contact.(Source:NY Times- Guidelines Push Back Against Cervical Cancer Screenings) The age push back comes just after the USPSTF announcement about mammogram screenings being delayed until age 50.
Pap tests screenings are done to protect women against cervical cancer by screening for the HPV or Human papillomavirus which is the leading cause of cervical cancer in women. A pap smear test looks for abnormal cells and cells that may become cancerous.
Cervical cancer develops slowly so the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist have decided that you can wait to get a pap smear test.
According to the National Cancer Institute, “most invasive cancers of the cervix can be prevented if women have Pap tests regularly.” (Source: National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet
Women, get tested. Self test for breast cancer and talk to your health care provider if you feel something odd or a lump. It can save your life! I have given you the facts. Please use them to decide what is right for you. Don’t let government decide what your life is worth. We had to fight to get the right to vote, to work, to get fair pay, to be educated, to hold public office and to serve in the military. We now have to fight for our lives, literally.
Statistics You Should Know-
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer found in women.
Breast cancer is in the top 10 causes of death for women in the United States.
3,700 women die each year from cervical cancer in the United States of America.
Worldwide it is estimated at 253,500 deaths due to cervical cancer.
Sources:Mammograms Help Catch Cancer
Celebrity Breast Cancer Survivors
NCCC National Cervical Cancer Coalition
American Cancer Society