Mammogram controversy continues, ACS says start at age 40 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/18/09

Mammogram controversy continues, ACS says start at age 40

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By Kristin Beerman | email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Two days after a government task force recommended that women wait 10 years longer to begin mammogram screenings at age 50 instead of 40, the controversy continues.

Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius jumped into the spotlight with her own advice, saying that screening is an important life-saving tool, and women should talk to their doctors to make the decision that is right for them.  She also made it clear that the task force is an outside panel of doctors, and they do not set federal policy. Sebelius also says she does not expect insurance coverage to be affected by this.  Meanwhile, members of congress weighed in on the new guidelines, including our own Congressman Randy Neugebauer, who is a cancer survivor.

"And one of the things I learned was my detection was one of the reasons I can sit here this evening and say I'm cancer free," said Randy Neugebauer, U.S. Congressman, District 19.  "And so, I'm very concerned about a recommendation that really discourages women from following some form of early detection procedure."

The American Cancer Society maintains that women should follow the current guidelines, beginning yearly mammograms by age 40 and earlier if they have a family history of the disease.

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