The task force acknowledged that mammograms can save lives and fear their new guidelines may be misinterpreted. “We aren’t against screening women in their 40s, we just don’t think it should be routine,” Petitti said.
Such vague rationale belies trust, as does the task force’s argument that women need to be protected from a fear of contracting cancer:
A test can trigger unnecessary further tests, like biopsies, that can create extreme anxiety.
You know how women tend to worry themselves needlessly.
Of course, Dr. Berry noted, if the new guidelines are followed, billions of dollars will be saved.
“But the money was buying something of net negative value,” he said. “This decision is a no-brainer. The economy benefits, but women are the major beneficiaries.”
No, the biggest beneficiaries are the insurance companies and, potentially, the federal government.
Others fear insurance coverage of mammograms could be dropped based on the new recommendations.
“Certainly mammography does pick up things at [age] 45 that would have been much more serious in five years,” said Dr. Anne Wallace, director of the University of California-San Diego Moores Breast Cancer Program. “What worries me is if insurance companies won’t allow women who want early detection in this age group to be screened.”
*Note the institutional bias on display in The Times article.