A breast cancer survivor shares her experiences with the BRCA gene.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Mammogram Debate

The latest news being hotly debated is about moving the recommended age of women to begin mammograms from 40 to 50.  

I know statistics show that for the most part, it's not as necessary until women reach their fifties (and there are those cynics who think radiologists are fighting this because it would affect their income).

While I'm no medical expert, but from a survivor's point of view--and one who was diagnosed at 41--it concerns me since cancer grows faster in younger women due to their higher levels of estrogen. So, the earlier cancer is diagnosed in younger women, the better to catch it before it spreads.

It also seems like there are more and more younger women (pre-menopause) who are being diagnosed with the disease.  Statistics don't back me up on this, I know -- rather, it's only from my personal experience.  But almost every woman I know who has -- or had --breast cancer, was diagnosed before 50.  Maybe I'm just hanging out with the wrong crowd.

Hopefully, this issue will be discussed and debated more before they raise the age for a mammogram to be covered by insurance. We don't  need one more thing to discourage women from screening for cancer.