I think there is a misconception in the way that the media and some women are interpreting the implications of the new USPSTF guidelines. The alternative to finding your cancer on a mammogram if you are under age 50 is not death. The alternative is finding the cancer by feeling a lump while in the shower, or poking around, or rolling over in bed. Many breast cancers found this way are still cured, as we have seen and heard from the many women interviewed in the media whose tumors were missed on mammography.

The more important issue is making sure that doctors take young women seriously when they complain about a change in their breasts. I wish that mammography was able to find the aggressive tumors often experienced by young women and African-American women at a curable point, but the data suggest that this is often not the case.

Screening is better at finding slow cancers at an “early stage” than fast growing ones. I wish that mammography screening of all women starting at age 40 was the answer to reducing deaths in young women of all races, but at this point the data does not support that conclusion. Using guidelines that are not supported by research is not going to give us the outcome we so desperately want—and end to this disease.

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34 Responses to What about all of you that found your cancers under 50?

  1. Chris says:

    Dear Dr.:

    You need to stop making false statements about mammography. Have you read the USPTF report. In their report, they clearly stated that mammography DOES find cancers in the breats of women in their 40’s, and save lives. Their issue is number of cancers found vs. flase positives.

    You have made completely false statements in your responses about the sensitivity of mammography, the radiation dose effects, basically in the area you are NO expert.

    I found the cancer surviors who have posted here know better than you do. They know mammography have limitations. They cried for your help to offer solutions.

    So far, you have offered no solutions.

    Please, if you want to support the USPTF’s new recommendations, at least read their reports, and show some intelligence. And lastly don’t insult the people who have supported you.

  2. Kristina says:

    I’m glad that you stood up and said what needed to be said about the overscreening that’s been going on. I’m 48 and I’ve been refusing screening mammography based on the reasons stated in the new guidelines, along with concerns about the radiation risks. Its about time someone spoke up about this and perhaps we can take a more sensible approach on screening. We have some knowledge about the causes and risk factors related to breast cancer & I think we should be focussing on prevention rather than irradiating women needlessly.
    Keep up the great work and thank you for the information you provide.

  3. Jackie says:

    My ‘invasive ductal carcinoma’ of 1.2 cm was first diagnosed in 2003 during a ‘routine’ mammogram. I had felt a tiny bump 30 hours before the scheduled mammogram. It had a mitotic rate of ’87’ during needle biopsy, though the rate dropped to 17 during the lumpectomy procedure.

    It’s Her-2 positive, very agressive (fast growing). So even though there was no lymph nodes involvement, my doctors recommended both chemo (18 weeks)and radiation (33 rounds). I was 43 years old.

    4 years later, I ‘found’ a 2+ cm ‘recurrence’ which the Mammogram had been catching on the film but had been interpreted as ‘scar tissue’. The surgeon was sure about her surgical skills (“I’ve got a ‘clean margin’!” She was vividly more upset than me at our appointment) and both the radiation oncologist and medical oncologist were sure my cancer had been eradicated by 18 weeks of chemotherapy and 33 rounds of radiation.

    Every mammogram I had was extremely painful because the solid tumor was like a ‘pebble’ being pressed by the glass. But because all the books I’d read had stated that ‘some’ women have ‘painful’ mammograms, I just believed that I belonged to the ‘some women’ group. After all, I’d been told my mammogram was ‘clear’.

    Was I wrong!

    Because of the undiscovered recurrence, I failed to complete my internship to become a certified teacher. Now I am unemployed, thanks to the delayed diagnosis.

    But how glad I am to be alive!

    I am not sure if Dr. Love’s message meant to stir up the debate and bring attention to more women (and men)about doing breast self exams. I do know that if not for the ‘routine’ mammograms, I would not have been here today.

    I hope Dr. Love’s comment helps bring up more discussion and bring attention to the importance of self-exam without losing the sight of the importance of routine mammogram.

    By the way, I am the youngest of six of parents who are now in their 80s and 90s. Neither my Mother nor my two Sisters have had breast problems.

  4. lisa says:

    perhaps the misconception is caused because you and the panel have totally confused women across this country. I have read everything you have to say about this and it still just doesn’t make sense. If you said, “hey we now have a much better way to diagnose cancers than mammograms and self-exams” I’d listen, but at this point you don’t. I have read every post here as well as many on Susan G. Komen’s site and one thing for sure is that there is a large amount of women under 50 whose mammos did pick up their cancers whether life threatening or not, don’t we deserve to know what’s growing in our bodies? Let me ask you this, if you had a tumor growing inside your breast, wouldn’t you want to know? It’s like you are not listening to all the women who have come forward to tell you their stories. So frustrating, just confirms the feeling that all you care about is saving face now and not about the thousands of women whose lives have been saved because of early detection.

  5. Susan Love says:

    Chris, The 15% reduction in mortality that is mentioned in the report does not show up until women are in their 50’s (after over 10 or more years of follow up) which suggests it may be from the later mammograms not the earlier ones. The issue is not whether mammograms can find cancers they can, it is whether it can find it at a point where it makes a difference in overall survival. It also can miss cancers more in younger women as all studies have demonstrated. In addition there are several studies calculating the risk from the cumulative radiation of annual mammograms starting at 40. I am sorry if my evaluation of the reports and the science don’t match your understanding. We all wish that early detection could find all cancers at an early and curable stage but I think we need to be realistic about what it can and can not do.
    I actually believe that we need something better for younger women and wish we could refocus the discussion from arguing about a less than perfect tool to finding the cause of this disease.

  6. Jenny says:

    Dr. Love, as I have said before, keep up the good work. I have another question though, one that hasn’t been addressed in any media that I have seen. Routine treatment for women with DCIS is lumpectomy plus radiation (unless the woman has a mastectomy). Has there been any discussion of the dangers of radiation to women in this position? Could it be that the invasive cancers that some of these women develop are caused by the radiation, not by the original DCIS?

  7. Donna says:

    Dr. Love,

    Can you tell me what the implications are of the new recommendations for women under 50 who have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation?

  8. Michele says:

    Now I’m more confused than ever: I quote from Dr. Love, “The issue is not whether mammograms can find cancers they can, it is whether it can find it at a point where it makes a difference in overall survival. It also can miss cancers more in younger women as all studies have demonstrated. In addition there are several studies calculating the risk from the cumulative radiation of annual mammograms starting at 40.” My 1.8cm invasive ductal carcinoma, triple negative, with an MBR grade of 9+ was found during a routine mammogram when I was 42. The mammogram from the previous year was completely clear. If I had waited for bi-annual screening, or until age 50, who knows what the outcome would be? I am convinced that my cancer was found at a stage and time that makes it curable. I am now reaching my second year of being cancer-free. I think that early screening and agressive treamtent did indeed make a difference in “overall survival.” I plan to continue advocating for routine screening and BSE. I may not be a medical expert, but I’m sure as heck a fighting and surviving expert!

  9. Janine says:

    Hi Dr. Love.

    I am a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed April of 07 at age 46. Stage IIIC grade 3 IDC, ER/PR+, HER2-, 10/32+ nodes. I have been trying to understand both sides of this issue, and I don’t doubt your commitment to women and to a cure for breast cancer. I am a part of the Army Of Women, and in general, someone who tries not to just have a “knee-jerk” reaction based on my own emotionally charged diagnosis and treatment.

    But in this case, I have a question about the recent changes in recommendations that no one seems to be addressing (or I have missed it if they have). The new guidelines seem to be all about numbers and science, without thought for quality of life issues. “Don’t look for early cancer, wait for your doctor to find a lump,” they say. A while back, I read a report that stated once a malignant lump can be felt, it is already invasive. Unless the last few years of my life have been all in my imagination, invasive breast cancer is both more expensively and harshly treated by stage. The costs are astronomical and the effects can be devastating.

    According to studies I am reading: Around 30 percent of breast cancer survivors have ongoing issues that keep them from ever getting back to a normal life. Chemotherapy causes faster aging and greater risk of the morbidities we all wish to avoid as we age. Radiation risks include other cancer types and a clouding of breast tissue that makes follow-up mammograms harder to read.

    According to experience: A small lump, no bigger than a marble, can disrupt your life, change its course, and force you into decisions and experiences I wouldn’t wish on anyone. The “slash, poison, and burn” is only part of it. Invasive breast cancer is also a LOT more stressful on a woman emotionally than a false positive. A temporary scare VS living with a high stage diagnosis, even if treated and (for now) in remission–there is no comparison.

    I live with my cancer journey every day, as I try to put my life back together, try to heal and get back some strength and stamina. I can’t help but say to myself, “If it was only caught earlier, I could have avoided chemo, or radiation, or both, and this would all be a blip on screen for me.”

    Early detection may or may not mean a higher cure rate (I find it hard to believe that it wouldn’t), but it for sure means a less expensive and debilitating remission, and a faster and more thorough recovery. It means women who can go on with their lives and be productive members of their families, communities, and society in general.

    So as for my question: Has any of this been considered by those writing up these new guidelines?

  10. Rhonda says:

    Dr. Love,

    I just want to let you know that I appreciate you…

  11. Gerda de Klerk says:

    Dr. Love,

    Thank you for being a paragon of rationality, accuracy, and fairness amidst the rabid populism that seems to be growing around the new guidelines.

  12. Lisa says:

    I for one am very glad I had my first routine screening mammogram at age 41. My breast cancer was diagnosed and treated at an early stage. It was grade 3 DCIS, ER and PR negative- all throughout the breast. It is impossible to know how advanced it would have been if I had waited until I was 50 to get screened.

  13. Sydney says:

    I have been following this debate for the last couple of weeks and had a few questions about some data that I have been unable to find on-line so far. Dr. Love I wondered whether you knew the answers:

    1) I heard on CNN last week that 15% of all breast cancers are found by “routine mammography.” Does this mean that the great majority, 85% are found by the patient or her doctor through a physical exam?

    2) Since many women that have commented here were diagnosed with breast cancer in their 30’s or even 20’s, does this mean that an even higher percentage than 85% found the cancers themselves in this age group (since they would not yet have begun routine screenings?)

    3) Did the study say what percentage of women diagnosed in their 40’s found their cancers by routine mammography vs. themselves or by their doctors?

    4) Is there any data on what percentage of American women in their 40’s are even getting the routine screening (I imagine the uninsured may not be, and wonder even among the insured whether it is the majority of women?)

    5) Also, I wondered among the women in their 40’s who did find cancers from the routine mammography, do we know what percentage of them would have been instructed to get routine mammography anyway under the new guidelines because they would be considered to be higher-risk?

    In other words, what I’m trying to learn is if you took out the pool of women in their 40’s that generally find their own cancers outside of mammography, and took out the pool that are considered high-risk, so would be screened anyway under the new guidelines, what kind of numbers are we talking about remaining in the pool?

    6) And finally I know they quantified the lives saved for women in their 40’s to be something like 1 in 1900, do they have a statistic for how many lives would be saved if we began routine mammography for women in their 30’s? I.e, 1 in how-many would be saved?

    Forgive me, I was an accountant . . . this kind of data will help me make my own decision with my doctor.

  14. Linda says:

    For some women cancers found under the age of 50 can ONLY be found with mammograms and the outcome without it would be death. Why do you keep making such outrageous comments that simply aren’t true??

  15. Mercedes says:

    My breast cancer was diagnosed in my first screening mammorgram at age 40. I had no complaints and no palpable lump- what mammorgram showed were calcifications of odd shapes. Thank God out of an abundance of caution I was advised to undergo a biopsy.
    I had 10 centimeters (yes, not a typo) of DCIS and a 6 millimeter invasive HER2 Neu positive highly aggressive breast cancer. The breast surgeon said in 8 months I would have been Stage IV. I have been cancer free for 10 years- without mammography I probably wouldn’t be here.
    So is mammography perfect- no, nothing is. But it saved my life.
    Ironically, insurance won’t approve an MRI for surveillance for me because I’m not high risk enough!
    Let’s not throw away mammography because its not perfect- at least not until there’s something better that insurance will actually pay for.

  16. Valarie says:

    I was diagnosed at age 40. More African American women are diagnosed under age 45. More African American women die of the disease. Most of the women in my support group would not be alive if they had waited to get their first mammogram at 50. I don’t care how insignificant the numbers are in terms of mammograms saving lives. If that insignificant number is you or a family member it quickly becomes significant.

  17. Pam says:

    I agreewith you 100% Valarie!

    The pathetic thing is that this was NOT a scientific based decision, it was a numbers game. Those numbers were followed by a big fat $! It is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY! This is what our medicine has come down to, the rich will continue to get great care,including mammograms in their 40’s, and those who lack funds will not and some will die.

    Like you, my life according to Dr Love, was not worth other women getting screened and having normal mammograms.

    I am still waiting for Dr Love to explain where she came up with her statement that “mammograms cause as many cancers as they find” (or lives saved). Please Dr Love, tell me, how did someone prove a women got cancer from having mammograms?

    If that is true, all of us who had radiation as part of our treatments are doomed to die. How dare they use radiation to treat cancers if the very small amount of radiation used in mammograms causes cancer!

    Just think of all the radiation we were exposed to during cancer treatment, even minus the radiation treatments themselves. All the many mammograms, and x-rays including those used for biopsy, those used for needle localization, those used to put a port in,
    the CT scans, the bone scans, lets face it, we should all be glowing by now!

    Please tell me why you say “the
    alternative to finding your cancer on a mammogram if you are under age 50 is not death.” How do you know that? You don’t think my invasive ductal carcinoma found on a routine mammogram in my 40’s would have spread to my nodes, to other organs of my body before it was discovered by me via a lump in my 50’s? How very presumptuous of you! You are so sure I would have found that lump before it was impossible to “cure?” Cure, now there is a word! NO ONE EVER SAYS CURE! I was told they will never say that is because they don’t know who is cured and who isn’t. So, how is it that you know?

    You expect women in their 40’s to find a lump yet you support the panel that doesn’t want doctors to teach their patients self breast examination! And you wonder why you have women confused?

    I also find it very interesting that The American Cancer Society, M D Anderson, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, and numerous other research based institutions oppose the new guidelines.

  18. Mary Ann says:

    I was an immediate joiner to this cause. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 41, ONLY DUE to my first mammogram – first because it was just(then) allowed for insurance coverage. That was 19 years ago. I counted a dozen other women I know with the same experience IN THEIR 40s.
    Say what you will; you are DEAD WRONG. I’m not a scientist nor an MD; I’m ALIVE, not one of the few who wouldn’t be dectected by a mammogram during my 40s. If there is a 5% chance of rain, but it’s raining on you, you’re 100% wet. Get it?

  19. Julia says:

    First, I want to thank you for sticking to your guns and not kowtowing to the hysteria these new guidelines have created. I wish our new administration, which I admire quite a lot, would do the same, but given the stakes of health care reform vs. no health care reform, I’ll give them a pass for backing away from this controversy. Second, WHY hasn’t the USPSTF referred more often to and/or made more of a connection between their guidelines and the recent findings that nearly one third of breast cancers are over treated??? I was diagnosed last spring at age 49 with a 1.4 cm, grade one, stage one IDC and due to several factors, was given little choice other than to have a mastectomy. At the time, I felt quite lucky that the cancer was caught so early, but after learning that my Oncotype score was 9, I began to have serious doubts about whether my tumor would have ever caused me any trouble at all. A week after receiving that score, the first study regarding overtreatment of breast cancer came out and there I sat, one breast less and forever altered sensation in the upper left quadrant of my torso. Not a bad price to pay to avoid death, but a fairly steep one to shell out if the tumor really posed no significant threat at all. Needless to say, I’ve struggled quite a bit with this, feeling in my core that I fall smack dab into that category of women subjected to overtreatment because of a screening technique that is better at finding non-threatening tumors than threatening ones. My story, coupled with that of my first cousin, who at age 48 discovered a very aggressive, stage three tumor in her breast four months after getting an all’s clear from her mammogram, and the USPSTF’s guidelines make perfect sense to me. So again, why isn’t the issue of overtreatment being used as evidence that mammograms are neither the harmless tool nor the life saving panacea that most people seem to need to believe? Is this not a valid connection? If not, please help me understand why. If so, please explain to me why the task force continues to botch its message. The argument of undue stress created by false positives is as weak as it is offensive to women and serves only to create suspicion that the task force is not being upfront about something. The fact that people are so up in arms over a sane and rational recommendation (not an edict, mind you) is maddening enough; that health care reform opponents are now using this as ammunition to generate even more fear about reform is unconscionable and truly sickens my heart. I feel certain many more poor people will die from a lack of basic health care if health care reform doesn’t pass than women will ever die from not having a mammogram foisted upon them at age 40.

  20. carol mayberry says:

    A routine mammogram discovered my 45 year old daughter’s breast cancer, which was missed during the routine physical immediately prior! She has since had a double mastectomy and chemo. We are just sorry she did not go in for her mammo the year prior so we would have known how long it had been there. It might have saved her from the mastectomy.
    Susan, you have seriously undermined my confidence in you and your program! This new approach is going backward! Shame on you!This whole idea is ridiculous!

  21. Sydney says:

    Wow Julia, incredibly well said!

  22. Lara says:

    Dr. Love-

    Thank you for speaking about this topic! I vividly remember when I was a child the panic my mother went through after most of her mammograms came back unnecessarily requiring her to have biopsies. We have no history of breast cancer in our family and I thank you for being a voice of reason. I am a member of your army of women and I support your incredible work!

  23. DeVon says:

    Just a bit of information for those who think the Obama admin. is backing away from this. Check out pages 26-28, SEC. 122 of the health bill in debate right now. Page 28, line 12, item (8) requires coverage of preventive service, including those services recommended with a grade of A or B by the Task Force on Clinical Preventive Services (which is later stated takes the place of USPSTF. New name.) Convenient that screening services for women 40-49 are now classified as grade C. Get it….not gonna be required to be covered when this bill goes into effect after passage. This is all about money, and those who are too naive to see that need to open your eyes. This is not just a coincidence.

  24. Tracy says:

    I am 43 years old and preparing for a bilateral mastectomy next week. Not because I felt a lump. Actually, according to the mammograms, MRI, and sonogram, I don’t have any lump or suspiscous mass at all.

    What I did have, at my routine mammo weeks ago, were tiny microcalcifications.

    The biopsy pathology surprised us all when it showed that those tiny microcalfications were not benign. Nor were they DCIS. I have IDC, grade III, ER and PR negative, HER2 +++, with a proliferation index of 60%.

    I realize that health guidelines and recommendations are made based on groups — very large groups. But I am a individual. With a high grade invasive, agressive cancer. And no lump.

    If the new guidelines are in women’s best interest, it begs the question – should women wait to be treated for high grade, invasive, fast growing cancers? And if so, how long?

    If I had followed these guidelines, I’d be doing just that. Perhaps a lump would form and I would feel it sometime in the next year or two.

    If these guidelines make sense, then I should call off my treatmet and carry on for the next year or so until a mass grows.

    But they don’t make sense to me given my personal experience. So I will begin treatment and be grateful that as of now, it looks like my agressive early cancer has not spread past my nodes.

  25. Susan Glassow says:

    I’m glad the panel’s comments have created the national discussion on the efficacy of mammograms. I had four that did not reveal the tumor, found by me when I was 48. It was the size of a walnut and on the top of my breast and neither my doctors nor I felt it six months earlier nor did my mammogram show it. I have dense breasts. I still have them at 64 and have had both a ductal lavage at UCLA and MRI every couple years. So far, so good.

    Because I had the good fortune to be in a group of 40 women who met at noon with a hospital facilitator every week for a year, I knew that there is no remission in breast cancer. Women in this group had had a recurrence at twenty years! Some, of course, many of the women in their 30s had ongoing cancer treatments until they died.

    I’d like to see a national tracking system that follows those of us with breast cancer, type, treatments, years following. Then, we’d have not only statistics but statistics that have multi-dimensions. I think all of our very individual comments show the need for such a database.

  26. Jill says:

    Dr. Love –

    Thank you for taking the time to clarify your points of view on this topic. Through my own breast cancer journey, I found your site, your writings and your advocacy to be a great comfort and source of valuable information for my own decision making.

    Like you, I am a fellow scientist – trained in the art of objectively and rationalely looking at data to drive to a solid conclusion.

    In this case, I have to admit, however, my personal experience is clouding my scientific objectivity. I do understand all the arguments and even get that the conclusions are based on rational science as opposed to political conspiracy.

    That said, I am afraid I would have been one of the “statistics” that fell through the cracks as my very agressive breast cancer was caught at age 43 thanks to a routine screening mammogram and the eagle eyes of an excellent radiologist. I was at the right place at the right time, I guess. No lump, no family history. Did the slash, poison and burn routine.

    Would I have died if this was not caught? Who knows? The stats don’t look so good. But, this is a topic for intellectual debate. I am grateful for the treatment I received and advances such as herceptin that I do believe saved my life.

    So.. while my scientific brain understands the basis for the recommendation, a voice in my head is asking the question of “how many cancers found and/or deaths prevented is enough to justify the screening?”. We cannot scientifically determine that number.

    In any case, I do appreciate you trying to elevate the scientific merits of the argument.

  27. Lisette says:

    Dr. Love:

    My “infiltrating ductal carcinoma” was discovered by mammogram as a microscopic change on a yearly mammogram at age 51. I had had every two year mammograms starting at age 42 or so. I had one at 50. My 1/2 cm tumor had already mestastisized to my lymph nodes.

    As far as I knew, I was not at risk for breast cancer. If I had followed the new guidelines, I would have had considerably more lymph node involvement. It’s a guess as to how extensively the cancer would have spread had I not been diligent about getting mammograms.

    I am troubled by some of the comments I’ve heard recently. Women I know are taking the new guidelines to mean that mammograms aren’t important because you’re more likely to get a false positive. The feeling is “why go through that when the results can’t be trusted.”

    Women have fought long and hard to get this disease recognized, to get insurance companies to cover treatment and diagnosis, to be taken seriously about a medical condiition that will affect almost all women directly or indirectly.

    To conclude, I was extremely disappointed in your response when interviewed by Brian Williams on the NBC evening news. I can’t believe that someone with your training and expertise in breast health would respond the way you did.

    I will continue to encourage my friends and family to get mammograms as recommended by the American Cancer Society.

  28. nobodyspecial says:

    You are killing women.

  29. Becky Brock says:

    Mammogram did NOT find any of the 3 tumors in my breasts from the age of 40 until I insisted on biopsy at the age of 49.

    My fear is that women will think everything is AOK when their mammograms come back clear, when their dense breasts prevent an accurate reading. We will never know how many died after getting the “all clear” from years of mammograms.

    Always trust your instincts. Just know that mammograms do not show tumors for at least 15% of women.

    Thank you Dr. Love for all your help to me personally in the past, and for telling the truth about testing. I’m happy for those who found their cancers with mammography, but want to warn that it is not 100% reliable.

  30. Christine Iannuzzo says:

    I have stage three breast cancer, had a lump for the past 20years that faulkner Breast care center watched every year with a mamogram as well as ultra sounds on occasion, Every year the radiologist said the same thing, no change and I was ok. This past year the radiologist in 15 mins of the mamo told me I had Invasive duct. carcinoma. What happen last year I asked, why didnt you see it then? He pointed at my films from last year and said it’s right here, it was seen, I don’t know why they (the other radiologist didnt see it) I see Dr. Love’s point, mamo’s don’t pick up everything, however for everyone it does pick up it is well worth having a mamo starting early in age. My oncologist at Dana Farber told me tha a large percentage of women in there 40s are diagnossed with breast cancer, We need to continue with mamo’s as well as come up with another way of detecting breast cancer early, Again I have had my mamo every single year for the past 20 years at Faulkner Breast Cancer Center, I believe Dr. Love founded this center and every single year the 9cm tumor was missed, How does this happen? We can’t stop now we have come to far, Dr. Love has put her heart and soul into this and I won’t blame her for any result of this terrible disease. However I do believe that radiologists at breast cancers should be reviewed by at least three techs, and folks like me won’t be fighting for their life. Keep up the good work ladies!

  31. nobodyspecial says:

    The statement “Screening is better at finding slow cancers at an “early stage” than fast growing ones” makes limited sense. It is true that there is a longer period in which a slow growing cancer can be seen on mammograms (simply because the radiologists may have several points in time to see it). However, although there may only be one opint in time to see a rapidly growing cancer, there will be many women for whom it will be seen early, on random basis. This is because the mammogram may coincide with the appearance of the cancer. If you want to take this to its logical conclusion, one could support the increased frequency of mamograms in younger women (who tend to have more aggresive tumors) rather than the decreased frequency (ie no mammograms). This of course is not advocated because of other concerns, such as radiation, a theoretical problem only. This does indicate the illlogic of some statements in this blog and on this website.

  32. lg says:

    Why don’t you talk about the new BSGI (or DILON) screening technology as an alternative to mammograms, especially for women in their 40’s with dense breasts? It’s not perfect, but it’s my understanding that it’s more specific than mammograms. I concur wholeheartedly with your opinions; I’ve been put through hell the last two years with doctors and radiologists pressuring me to do additional biopsies after a first one went horribly wrong and caused chronic pain. I’m emotionally and physically scarred and completely unable to trust my doctors now, and it doesn’t help when they admit that the main reason they want me to have a biopsy is to avoid a potential lawsuit, not because the scans merit investigation. I insisted on the DILON scan the last time (my insurance paid, believe it or not), and was given a reading of “probably benign”, avoiding a biopsy and the potential complications than I’m deathly afraid of. Biopsies aren’t risk-free.

  33. Nolan Hunt says:

    You’ve done it again! Incredible read.

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