Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
- Community Blog
- MsGrant's Rants
XX is in Trouble
This is a serious subject, and I have to get it off my chest, literally. I opened the newspaper today and I see "Breast Cancer Screening Revised". The article goes on to say the minimum age to begin breast cancer screening should be 50, not 40. It also suggested that doctors should stop teaching women to examine their breasts regularly. This "influential group" that made these determinations provides guidance to doctors, INSURANCE COMPANIES and policy makers.
Their reason? The recommendations are aimed at reducing harm from overtreatment and overscreening. "While many women do not think screening can be harmful, medical experts say the risks are real. A test can trigger unnecessary further tests, like biopsies, that can create extreme anxiety." OH, MY GOD! Gee, I wonder if I would be less anxious if I actually knew I was dying because I was denied a mammogram, or if I had a biopsy and discovered I had a tumor that could be treated.
"Overall, the report says, the modest (modest!!!) benefit of mammograms - reducing the breast cancer death rate by 15 percent - must be weighed against the harms." Okay, we have been reduced to a number of allowable deaths - a MODEST 15% - BECAUSE WE MIGHT BECOME "ANXIOUS"?!?! NO, IT IS BECAUSE IT IS CHEAPER TO TREAT A WOMAN DYING OF BREAST CANCER THAN IT IS TO CURE HER.
It also goes on to say that private insurers are required by law in every state except Utah to pay for mammograms for women in their 40s. Why would any state opt out of saving women's lives? No other group is systematically denied preventative health care screening in that state.
There is no allowable number, as far as I am concerned. Even if just one life is saved because of early detection, that is enough for me. Anyone who has stood by and watched someone they love die from this dreadful disease will understand how important it is to not allow these restrictions to happen right under our noses and do nothing about it. Even if you have never had personal exposure to this disease, if these restrictions are allowed to become commonplace, mark my words, you will.
I am going to end this with an e-mail I received last week from my friend Allison, whose cousin Karen is dying of breast cancer.
To my very special friends,
My cousin Karen is dying from breast cancer. She has been in and out of the hospital for the last two months and we have been very concerned. Yesterday, it took a turn for the worst and we found out it took over her liver and went to her kidneys. I am flying to NY this weekend, hoping she will recognize me.
I apologize if I have been out of touch, or maybe I have talked to you but not about how serious this was. I have been consumed with it and talking to her as much as I can every day and my family every day.
I am so thankful to have my mom here. She came on Tuesday to help me move even though she didn't want to leave Karen's side. We are moving on Friday, and flying back to NY together after that. My mom and Karen have always been my rocks.
I hope you are all well and staying healthy. Sorry for the bad news. I am very bad at talking about things like this and it's hard to have that conversation over and over again.
This hurts so much. Most of you know Karen is the closest I have to a sister and we are very tight. It's just not fair she has to leave and in such pain.
Love to you all, Allison
This is real. We need to wake up and realize that every day our access to medical care that could save our lives is slowly being stripped away. And for what reason? XX.