Everything They Told Us Is Wrong...

...or at least it seems so. Now they say that self-exams aren't necessary and that you don't need a mammogram until age 40. I'll have more about this. In the meantime, you can read the study and recommendations here.
If you found your cancer via under-40 mammogram or breast self-exam, please comment! Of course, all comments are welcome, by survivors and non-, as long as you're a real person, not a computer program.
Meanwhile, Our Bodies Our Blog concurs with the guidelines, and explains why, providing important history and perspective, with excellent links. Check it out.


Elizabeth said...

Sooooo, mammography is not such a great tool, and neither is the self-exam (despite the fact that the SBE is non-invasive and DOESN'T COST ANYTHING)...so, we'll just recommend that women under 50 NOT DO ANYTHING.

The above post might be a little snarky, because the poster might happen to be a 35-year-old breast cancer survivor who found her lump during her monthly self exam, and whose cancer was obvious on a mammogram.

With these new recommendations, how much louder are 20 and 30-something women going to have to yell to be taken seriously by medical professionals who want to say "It's not cancer, you're too young?"

Cancer Bitch said...

THey're going to have to yell enough to break glass, as in windows.

Anonymous said...

It is certainly interesting for me to read this article. Thank you for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to them. I would like to read more on that blog soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that I didn't follow their recommendations.
-A 48-yr-old six month survivor

Cancer Bitch said...

Good you found it!!
I read an article that suggested that the study group was kowtowing to the health insurance companies, but I don't want to believe it.
C. Bitch

Kayo said...

I appreciated the link--that's a good article.

I am 43 and put off having a mammogram. Finally had one (no symptoms). Learned I have metastatic breast cancer.

I won't have another mammogram, now it's ultrasounds. I will see my doctor every month for the rest of my life.

I don't know if my cancer would have been detected. I can't worry about that, I can only deal with what I know today.

But I hope no woman uses this as a good excuse to skip her mammogram. A yearly exam is a hell of a lot better than a standing monthly appointment.

moe99 said...

17 years ago, my veterinarian sister, then 37, had a mammogram which detected the cancer in her breasts. Without it, she would not be here today. This is madness, and I am cynical enough to suspect health insurance companies' involvement in this. Less to pay out for them. Yet one more reason we need universal health care. It should not be a for profit business, this saving of women's lives.

ruth pennebaker said...

I want to refer you to an excellent post by Sheryl Kraft: http://www.more.com/8717/10010-why-i-hate-the-new
She's a longtime survivor with no family history of breast cancer.

I'm conflicted by this. Don't you think much of the furor is sounding because mammograms, self-exams and early detection were presented as panaceas in the first place? It was never that simple.

Northwestern MA/MFA said...

Right. In any case, no one is talking about investigating environmental causes. They're all discussing screening for a cancer that's already there.
C. Bitch

Cancer Bitch said...

Ruth, you're absolutely right about mammograms as panaceas. If we get mammograms for all, there will be no more cancer. As if.
C. Bitch

Anonymous said...

I found breast cancer by self-exam at age 44. It was tiny lumps grouped together - cacifications. I had stage 0 ductal carcinoma in situ. I had 5 yrs of Tamoxifen and saw my onco. today. I seem to be cured and I have been keeping my weight down. Women, do not give up breast self-exam!

Anonymous said...


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