Well, I’m sure everyone has seen the news by now. The USPSTF has issued new recommendations for breast cancer screenings–no mamms until 50 and then every 2 years after 50. As a breast cancer survivor and one who was diagnosed at 45, it’s hard not to feel alarmed by this news even though there’s a great number of false positives in women under 50. It’s a numbers game. It’s all about the percentages. About 20% of the mammograms done in women under 50 result in a malignant diagnosis. Guess that 20% just isn’t high enough to warrant the cost associated with all the screenings. Same reasoning applies to self-exams. A woman feels something, goes to her doctor, orders the mammogram which costs money, and it’s benign. So they discourage women from self-examining to avoid those extra mamms. This same rationale is governing the limited use of MRIs as a diagnostic tool–too many false positives. It worries me. I know too many women who were diagnosed under the age of 50, and they weren’t just numbers to me.