About Chelyen Davis:
Chelyen Davis is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
‘No, thanks’ to new cancer guidelines
I’ve been calling around to doctors’ offices for the last two days to talk with them about the new mammography guidelines floated this week by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The task force recommended that most women 40 to 49 no longer receive routine mammograms to screen for breast cancer. The panel recommended that these screenings begin at age 50 for most women.
What’s surprised me while making these calls is the unanimity of opinion that I’ve heard and the passion. Doctors in the Fredericksburg area, at least the half dozen that I’ve spoken with, don’t like the new guidelines and don’t intend to follow them. I’ve heard words like “frightening,” “infuriating” and “infamous” to describe the proposal. Doctors here have first-hand evidence from their patients that a baseline mammogram at 35 and annual mammograms beginning at 40 can detect cancers early when they’re more treatable.
For more local reaction to the federal proposal, see the story in the paper this weekend.