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Friday, May 21, 2010

The 'Breast' Health Care

 

Here is the problem when government begins mandating health care. 

The USPSTF said women in their 40s should balance the benefit of a mammogram with the potential harms. Those harms: false positives, radiation exposure and subsequent follow-up tests, but also the possibility of diagnosing and treating a cancer in a woman that never would have threatened her life. A special communication published last year in JAMA noted that increased screening for both breast and prostate cancer “may be increasing the burden of low-risk cancers without significantly reducing the burden of more aggressively growing cancers and therefore not resulting in the anticipated reduction in cancer mortality.

 

Opposing opinions:

 

These USPSTF recommendations run counter to the expert guidance of the American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology (ACR) and Society of Breast Imaging

The American College of Radiology (ACR) applauds Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) for his recent letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius demanding that, in compliance with recently passed health care reform legislation, HHS immediately remove from all HHS sponsored web sites and materials any references to the discredited and potentially deadly November 2009 U.S. Preventative Services Task Force mammography recommendations.

These USPSTF recommendations run counter to the expert guidance of the American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology (ACR) and Society of Breast Imaging and have undoubtedly confused many women to the point that they have refused needed care.

The federally funded and staffed USPSTF includes representatives from major health insurers, but not a single radiologist, oncologist, breast surgeon, or any other clinician with demonstrated expertise in breast cancer diagnosis or treat

Since the onset of regular mammography screening in 1990, the mortality rate from breast cancer, which had been unchanged for the preceding 50 years, has decreased by 30 percent. Ignoring direct scientific evidence from large clinical trials, the USPSTF based recommendations to greatly reduce breast cancer screening on conflicting computer models and the unsupported and discredited idea that the parameters of mammography screening change abruptly at age 50. There are no scientific data to support this premise.