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The new mammogram recommendations: Task force member speaks up

November 19, 2009 |  3:10 pm

Individualize, individualize, individualize. That's one message from the new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force report on mammograms that created such a ruckus this week. Though the recommendations have been painted by some as a blanket Ptth! to mammograms, the actual report was nuanced, and made plain that they didn't apply to women under 50 who were at high risk.

Go here to read about -- and watch a "Good Morning America" interview with -- a member of the task force, Dr. Timothy Wilt, who defended the panel's conclusions.

According to the report, Wilt said, among other things: "Cost is not considered at all. This is about providing high-quality healthcare for the individual [and] providing the information they need to know to make an informed decision.... The information is based on eight very large, randomized, controlled trials of mammograms in women, a series of six different databases and a variety of other studies."

It'll be interesting to see what doctors do with this information as the weeks and months unfold. Check out this article in U.S. News and World Report outlining what three physicians (a gynecologist, a family physician and an internist) say they will do when counseling patients of that age set -- recommend annual mammograms, advise against them or something in between?

Want more reaction? Read a column by Susan Perry in the MinnPost. She is taken aback by all the anger.

And here's a TV interview of a breast cancer survivor Christi Rich, who was diagnosed at age 47. She's against the new guidelines, arguing that her breast cancer would have been undetected under them.

--Rosie Mestel


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