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Mammogram Debate Continues

Posted 8/8/2013

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  The debate continues, and I suspect that we (readers of this blog) have varying opinions on the correct recommendations around mammography and screening. If you have a breast cancer that was detected by a mammogram, you are likely to be a fervent supporter and uncomfortable with any suggestion that the test wasn't necessary or valuable. An important fact to remember in all of this: any recommendations about screening are directed at the general population of woman who have not had breast cancer. They are not talking about us. This is why our annual mammograms are called "diagnostic" rather than "screening".

  Today is an opportunity read well-written essays about both sides of the arguement. The first is from Slate and suggests that it isn't the test that isn't great, it is how we are using it. The author goes on to outline practice guidelines and formulas to identify women at "enough" risk to have mammograms. The second essay is from The Columbia Jounalism Review and criticizes this theory, reminding us that the core issue is that early detection does not necessarily save lives (not a fact we wish to think too much about).

  Anyway, here they are, and I do suggest you read them both:

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/08/mammograms_the_right_way_to_use_them.html

 

http://www.cjr.org/the_observatory/slates_inadequate_piece_on_mam.php?page=all&print=true

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