The Mammograms or Not in Women 40-49 Controversy

As usual Dr. Kenny Lin, a former USPSTF member and prolific writer of “common sense” articles writes on how emotions rule rather than evidence and data when it comes to how people feel about breast cancer Check out his article: Countering the too neat narrative on screening mammography.

Here are a couple of snippets for those of you who don’t want to check out the whole article.

“The petition itself is riddled with misrepresentations and errors. For example, it states: “The draft recommendations give mammograms for women ages 40-49 a ā€œCā€ grade, meaning most women in this age group, according to the Task Force, do not need an annual exam.” Not so. Actually, the Task Force is telling physicians and patients to weigh the benefits (a 1 in 2000 chance over 10 years of avoiding death from breast cancer) against the harms (a 6 in 10 chance of a false positive test result, unnecessary biopsy, and/or unnecessary treatment during the same time period).”

“To those who say, as if to brook no further argument: “Screening mammography in young women saves lives, that’s all there is to it,” I respond, no, that is not all. That too-neat narrative is only a small part of the story. And it’s past time that the full story is told.”

As usual Dr. Lin cuts through the emotion and gives a factual analysis of the evidence.

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