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posted by Dopefish on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the breast-cancer-awareness dept.

Papas Fritas writes:

"In the United States, about 37 million mammograms are performed annually at a cost of about $100 per mammogram and nearly three-quarters of women age 40 and over say they had a mammogram in the past year. Now the NYT reports that a study involving 90,000 women and lasting a quarter-century has added powerful new doubts about the value of the screening test for women of any age finding that the death rates from breast cancer and from all causes were the same in women who got mammograms and those who did not.

'It will make women uncomfortable, and they should be uncomfortable,' says screening expert Dr. Russell P. Harris who was not involved in the study. 'The decision to have a mammogram should not be a slam dunk.' An editorial accompanying the new study says that earlier studies that found mammograms helped women were done before the routine use of drugs like tamoxifen that sharply reduced the breast cancer death rate. In addition, many previous studies did not use the gold-standard methods of the clinical trial, randomly assigning women to be screened or not, noted the editorial's author, Dr. Mette Kalager. According to Kalager, with better treatments, like tamoxifen, it is less important to find cancers early.

Also, she says, women in the study were aware of breast cancer and its dangers, unlike women in earlier studies who were more likely to ignore lumps. 'As time goes by we do indeed need more efficient mechanisms to reconsider priorities and recommendations for mammography screening and other medical interventions,' concludes Kalager. 'This is not an easy task, because governments, research funders, scientists, and medical practitioners may have vested interests in continuing activities that are well established.'"

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  • (Score: 1) by Common Joe on Wednesday February 26 2014, @06:16AM

    by Common Joe (33) <> on Wednesday February 26 2014, @06:16AM (#7146) Journal

    Mammograms, from what I've heard, HURT. I haven't had one; I'm young and I've got dense and irregular breast tissue.

    It's different for different women, but they can very much hurt. My wife told me about one she had. She hurt for two or three weeks after that. She's never been back for a mammogram and I can't blame her. I question the validity of any "scanning procedure" that hurts someone for weeks afterward.

    I spent all two and a half days completely freaked out, crying spontaneously, hyperventilating, waking up in a cold sweat at night, unable to focus on anything I'd had planned and a real drag on my whole family. It was horrible.

    I'm sorry you had to go through that. In my experience, doctor's offices do not know how to deal with patients at all. Not me. Not my wife. We have been lied to (yes, on more than one occasion), stolen from (yes, but there is no legal recourse), and treated like cattle. We've moved several times in our marriage and it takes us years to find someone I'm happy with and she is merely "ok" with. She'll never feel comfortable with doctors. Gee, I wonder why.

    I suppose I say this to let you know that you're not alone and to vent my frustration. What they have done to my wife (and me as well) is unforgivable. I have other stories involving my grandparents and my best friend who became a paraplegic not too long ago, but that goes even further away from the this article. To say I'm angry with with the medical profession is an understatement. Not all doctors are bad, but there is only one person who can properly take charge of your health: you. The doctors don't care about you. Maybe they like helping people and maybe they are competent, but even the best doctors don't have time (money?) to address your personal problems properly.