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Mammograms in women 40 to 49 years old. Who has your interest at heart?

by | July 18th, 2010

Mammograms in women 40 to 49 years old. Who has your interest at heart?

Many women, and doctors, are confused by the recent recommendations set forth by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, USPSTF. Breast imaging centers throughout the nation have seen a drop in the number of women in their 40’s returning for their annual screening mammograms.

It is without question that early detection of breast cancer, saves lives. This concept is true for nearly all cancers. Scientific data has shown that since the induction of yearly mammograms for women starting at age 40, there has been an overall 20% decrease in breast cancer mortality. Furthermore, most of this decline in mortality is seen in early detection in women in their 40’s.

“The federally funded USPSTF includes representatives from major health insurers, but does not include a single radiologist, oncologist, breast surgeon, or any other clinician with demonstrated expertise in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Despite demonstration by their own analysis that screening annually beginning at age 40 saves the most lives and most years of life, the Task Force recommended against:

  • Mammography screening for women 40-49 years of age,
  • Annual mammography for women between 50 and 74 (in favor of only every other year), and
  • All breast cancer screening in women over 74.

These recommendations run counter to even the Task Forces own data and are out of touch with long proven policies of the American Cancer Society (ACS)”, according to Dr. Minh Nguyen, Regional Medical Director of Solis Women’s Health, Dallas Texas.

These recommendations by the USPSTF were made based on cost and false positive finding on mammography. The Task Force stated that false positive findings on mammography lead to unnecessary biopsies which subject patients to unnecessary procedures and increase the cost of providing health coverage.

So who has your best interest at heart?

J. Kyle Mathews, MD

Plano OBGyn Associates

Plano Urogynecology Associates

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Dr. J. Kyle Mathews is an expert in the field of Urogynecology, minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery, and reconstructive gynecologic surgery. Dr. Mathews is board certified and a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the American College of Surgeons. With over two decades of experience, Dr. Mathews is one of the most experienced surgeons in north Texas.

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