Controversy over breast cancer screening guidelines

December 2, 2009 3:01:16 PM PST
Breast cancer screenings and new recommendations are taking center stage on Capitol Hill and in Chicago. Last month, a federal advisory panel recommended scaling back breast cancer screening for women. This has met with a significant amount of rejection from many medical centers, breast cancer survivors and numerous doctors.

On Capitol Hill Wednesday, lawmakers grilled the US Preventive Services Task Force, asking if the cost of mammograms is behind its controversial recommendation. Members denied money was a factor.

And in Chicago Wednesday, leading experts in breast imaging denounced the recommendations, saying they ignore scientific evidence that mammograms -- even in younger women -- save lives.

"If these guidelines are followed, the major gains of the past 20 years will be lost, the death rate from breast cancer will climb back up, thousands of women will die unnecessarily and we will return to the 1950s in breast cancer care," said Dr. Daniel Kopans, Massachusetts General Hospital radiologist.


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