A federal panel that has relaxed cancer screening guidelines for breast, prostate and several other tumors has issued new guidelines ditching annual mammograms for many women. What do you think? My take, as a reporter covering this issue for 30 years: More confusion. Federal government even postponed when these GUIDELINES take effect, to be sure insurance committees don’t reduce coverage.
The nation’s largest group of women with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer mutations has released a statement opposing new mammography guidelines released by the American Cancer Society, saying it fears the new standards will do more harm than good.
“It is important to note that these new guidelines are intended for women at average risk of breast cancer,” says the statement from Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE). “Unfortunately, the vast majority of young women diagnosed with breast cancer have no known family history, and many are unaware that they may carry a genetic mutation associated with increased risk of cancer. Others simply have sporadic cancer for unexplained reasons. As such, these guidelines may have a negative impact on the general population and high-risk breast cancer communities alike.
“Many women learn they are at high risk only after they are diagnosed with breast cancer that is most often first detected by breast self-exam or mammogram.,” said the statement. “While saving lives is of primary concern, we should not underestimate the value of early detection, which may help women avoid poorer prognoses and more invasive treatments such as chemotherapy or mastectomy.” The full statement is at: http://www.facingourrisk.org/our-role-and-impact/advocacy/current-actions/documents/ACS-guidelines-statement-2015.pdf
Watch that burger intake, girls.
Michigan State University researcher Sandra Haslam, Ph.D., says girls who eat diets high in animal fats during puberty – whether they become overweight or not – may be at higher risk of getting breast cancer. Haslam spoke Monday at a community outreach program in East Lansing to explain three important breast cancer studies underway at MSU.
Research by Kathleen Gallo, Ph.D., is looking at better understanding what contributes to the spread of cancer, or metastasis, and developing new drug or drug cocktails for aggressive tumors likely to spread.
Eran Andrechek, Ph.D., is developing a new computer model that will help determine cancer patient’s best individual treatment, based on an analysis of a tumor’s characteristics and other factors.