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The Daily Need

Alison on mammograms

Warning: opinion ahead.

File this under the “what should I believe” category:  a new study suggests that mammograms for certain women aren’t really all that helpful.  Our medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay will join us to discuss the study on the broadcast this Friday — the first day of breast cancer awareness month.  But that’s not all. Consider this nugget I found in researching for the forthcoming interview: In late 2009 a panel under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services called the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggested that women be discouraged from performing self breast exams. Yes, you read correctly.  The USPSTF is described on its website as “an independent panel of non-Federal experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine composed of primary care providers.” This task force  “ recommends against teaching breast self-examination (BSE)” citing little benefit from the practice. Many questioned the suggestion and the DHS had to clarify some of the remarks.  Many breast cancer groups encourage women to continue monthly exams. Personally, I think a simple tool that empowers a woman to save her own life is worth doing. Again, that’s just my opinion — you were warned.

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