Thursday, November 19, 2009

Look at my breasts

Over at Pandagon, they are up in arms over the new government recommendations regarding breast cancer screening:

Government to women: Women over 40 are expendable. They have outlived their usefulness now that they need to dye their hair, and their breasts aren't so naturally perky anymore. Let 'em die, because we don't want to have to pay for their treatment.

Oh, wait. There isn't a single post about this at Pandagon. There are, though FOUR posts on Sarah Palin on the front page.

I mean, why should we be concerned that a government task force has determined that breast cancer screening is too expensive for women under 50? It's not like any of us know any women who had breast cancer under the age of fifty ... oh, except for these folks who run a a breast imaging center:

"I feel strongly against this. It's a large step backward," she says. "It puts a lot of confusion out there. Starting at age 40, a yearly mammogram reduces a woman's chance of dying from breast cancer by 30 percent. We detect breast cancer in women in their 40s every week here."

This should allay our fears:

Linda Douglass, the communications director for the White House Office of Health Reform, responded to Mr. Camp’s comments by stressing that the task force had no power to deny insurance coverage. “This is a typical scare tactic designed to protect the health care status quo of rising costs, unaffordable coverage and unfair insurance company practices,” she said.

Richard Kirsch, the national campaign director for Health Care for America Now, a group supporting expanded coverage, said Republicans could be expected to exploit the issue.

Let me shorten that for you , Pay no attention to those teabaggers! And, Ms Doulass, the task force has no power to deny coverage ... for now.

American Cancer Society says:

Our experts make this recommendation having reviewed virtually all the same data reviewed by the USPSTF, but also additional data that the USPSTF did not consider," ACS said. "The USPSTF says that screening 1,339 women in their 50s to save one life makes screening worthwhile in that age group. Yet USPSTF also says screening 1,904 women ages 40 to 49 in order to save one life is not worthwhile. ... With its new recommendations, the USPSTF is essentially telling women that mammography at age 40 to 49 saves lives; just not enough of them."

That extra 565 women makes it not worth it, apparently. Most outrageous is the idea that women shouldn't be doing self-exams. What's the issue? That a woman might find a lump? Leading to that "unnecessary" mammography.

Plus, false positives cause "anxiety" .... and you know how deadly that is.

Bravo Pandagon for being intellectually inconsistent! I know how hard it is when you've got all those pressing articles on Sarah Palin to write ...