fauxnews_450Faux News is now spinning a new breast cancer screening study that suggests women should wait until their 50’s to get mammograms. Faux News is accusing the white house of trying to ration healthcare because this was a government sponsored study.  HHS Director Kathleen Sebelius has reiterated “our policies remain unchanged”.

Dan Pfieffer white house communications direct writes in his blog.

“One of the hallmark tactics from opponents of health insurance reform has been to grab onto any convenient piece of information and twist it into some misguided attack on reform, no matter how unrelated it may actually be.  The hope appears to be that some media outlet will give them unchecked airtime under the banner of covering the “controversy.”  Today they’re going back to that playbook again, and Fox News obliges them with the headline “Critics See Health Care Rationing Behind New Mammography Recommendations.”   The story refers to new recommendations from the independent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force:

“Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are blasting new guidelines from a government task force that recommends against routine mammographies for women under 50,  questioning whether they are tantamount to health care ‘rationing’ in the fight against the No. 2 cancer killer in U.S. women.”

There’s only one problem: the recommendations of this task force would actually be used to provide access to effective preventive services for free or at low-cost. The USPTF would have no power to deny insurance coverage in any way.   The line of attack is actually somewhat ironic, because one of the guiding principles of reform from the very beginning in March has been to invest in significantly increased effective preventive care, something these “critics” never seemed to care much about over the past 8 months.”

The basis for the new recommendations are somewhat dubious conclusions in my opinion.

Some of the logic in the study is downright playing Russian roulette with women’s lives.

“The new guidelines balance these risks and benefits, scientists say.

The probability of dying of breast cancer after age 40 is 3 percent, they calculate. Getting a mammogram every other year from ages 50 to 69 lowers that risk by about 16 percent.

“It’s an average of five lives saved per thousand women screened,” said Georgetown University researcher Dr. Jeanne Mandelblatt.

Starting at age 40 would prevent one additional death but also lead to 470 false alarms for every 1,000 women screened. Continuing mammograms through age 79 prevents three additional deaths but raises the number of women treated for breast cancers that would not threaten their lives.”

Three percent sounds too high for me because that’s tens of thousands of woman a year who die in their ’40s because of breast cancer.  If that one person breast cancer screenings saved was your friend, your mother, your aunt, your grandmother or even your daughter I guess they would think differently.

Most woman know a friend, mother, grandmother, aunt or even daughter that has contracted breast cancer many times in their 40’s or younger. My mother-in-law waited to long to get a mammogram and passed away from breast in her 40’s and even though my wife is in her 30’s she gets regular mammograms because of her family history.

The sad part is I think a big reason even many breast cancer support groups are fighting for earlier guidelines is because the procedure is so damn painful for most woman.  For that reason some doctors may be rationalizing this decision.  The medical profession should be focusing on more comfortable and accurate methods to screen for breast cancer.

It is utterly irresponsible for Faux News to try and politicize this new study when it has not been an accepted guideline.

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Surprise, surprise.

So, now they are changing the rules on pap smears.

What’s with throwing women under the bus?

If any of these new recommendations actually go into effect and insurance companies begin rationing preventative health care for women, and if our Democratic leaders do not stand up against these irresponsible recommendations, well, I’ll let my spoiled whining child out and no longer support the Dems.

This is more than outrageous, especially with the American Cancer Society coming out against these new recommendations and are being ignored.

I do not think that I’d be the only woman leaving the Democratic Party.
And will I vote for a Republican, you ask?
Hell no.
I just won’t vote at all.


According to HHS Secretary Sibelius (sp), as I heard on NPR, any change in fee scheduling for mammograms or pap smears has to go through her. She promised that they will not change under her. She went on further to say that all women should use their own guidance along with her doctor. Do not change a thing.


Okay, thanks for the information.

This just seems like the perfect excuse for health insurance companies to deny women preventative care.

I’m wondering if the outrageous increase some of us are seeing in our rates – ours are going up 35% per month starting in January, and I know from talking to other people that they are facing similar increases.
I wonder if insurance companies are getting it while they can and lining their greedy profit-driven pockets in preparation for new reform that will require them to treat everyone, and not drop people when they get sick or drop them for pre-existing conditions.

This entire health care reform sure is eye-opening on exposing the corruption and greed in insurance companies and the corruption and greed of our lawmakers.

I’m losing hope.


javaz, you know a bit of my medical problems, so with that I say: Don’t lose hope. It may not shine brightly all the time, but don’t lose it. This bill is the closest on HC since it was first brought up in 1912.
1912-2009. Piece of cake 😉



You are correct.

I would say you are right, but that’s not a compliment anymore nowadays!


I have no place to say good night so decided to come back to the first post I commented on this morning to wish you all a good day and a good night from Tokyo. I hope that soon there will be a morning place to meet. AdLib and I are working on a place for you as we speak, just give us a little more time please.

Take care. Have a good day and good night from Tokyo again.


Sweet dreams, Kalima.

I’m going off, also, to walk the husband with the dog! 🙂
And then there’s the never ending housework and cooking!
Hope to see everyone later and hope everyone has a great day or great night!



“Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 40 to 49, with more than 4,000 deaths expected in this age group this year. The task force says routine mammography would reduce deaths by about 15 percent. With its new recommendations, the task force is essentially telling women that mammography at ages 40 to 49 saves lives — just not enough of them to recommend that all women get screened.”

The article explains how the statistics were compiled from studies that favored the new recommendations.
The statistical analysis is flawed and on the side of insurance companies.


Thanks for the article javaz. When I read things like “but apparently not enough deaths to recommend that all women 40 to 49 should be screened.” it makes my blood boil. How many women would have to die unnecessarily to make it worth their while to recommend earlier screening?

With 122 people dying each day because they have no health insurance, I would like to ask these people, how many women dying would raise your concerns to recommend the necessary screening, give us an estimate if you can of when you would change your recommendation, we need to know, we are not cattle. We have families, we have children, we have friends and we have a life to live. We are not a dip or rise on your endless graphs, we deserve much better from all of you.

One life lost because of false information or the lack of the possible life saving tests because the hospitals are restricted or insurance companies don’t want to foot the bill, is one life too many for one family in America. As with the HCR bill, I think that women need to get their personal stories or the stories of relatives who died because of inadequate testing or care to the President’s official site. Real people with real stories to tell often can help to change the course of history. Your politicians are so far removed from the pulse of the real America, they need a defibrillator to start their brains functioning again. You all have voice, please use it.


Hello Kalima!

Either you’re up very late, or I’m up extremely early!

Yes, the majority of our politicians are clueless when it comes to the average American life and the struggles.
The thing that bothers me more than anything about the majority of our politicians is their wealth.
Very few politicians understand the meaning of middle-class, let alone poor.
There are/have been a few – Clinton and Obama are two – but it appears that those in high office are wealthy and are out of touch with those who elect them.
It does explain why the wealthy politicians protect the wealthy elite and corporations.


Good morning javaz. It’s 10:52 at night here, not so late but late for me the last few weeks.

You have hit the nail on the head, they have healthcare, they don’t have to count their pennies to make ends meet or worry about a sick child or how they will pay the rent next month, they don’t live in the real world. A few with hearts and genuine compassion and understanding exist, but they tend to be overlooked or overwhelmed by a majority of “me first” interests.

The Repug teabaggers chant of “I want to take my country back” should really belong to the people who really care, middle class Americans who have had their heads pushed into the quicksand too many times while the already stinking rich just got richer by the hour under Bush’s tax cuts.

Enough voices, with enough determination can bring about the change that Sen. Obama asked for when he said, “I can’t do this alone. I need your help. Yes we can!!


The corporate media have done an outstanding job of causing a divide in this country. The attitude of we vs them, liberal vs conservative, Democrat vs Republican.
It’s a great strategy because it allows us all to blame the other guy, instead of holding our politicians from all sides accountable.
While we fight each other, we take our eyes off what’s really going on in our government.
Until Americans unite and demand that all our elected officials begin working for we the people, the turmoil and anger will continue to escalate.
I wish there was an easy solution, but I do believe that change must begin with the corporate media.
We need real journalists that report the actual news without bias.


Javaz, perhaps you like to take a few minutes and listen to this from NPR this morning:


Morning bitohistory!

Had to step away for a bit so that my husband could use the computer.

I would like very much to listen to that, but we have dialup and it’s impossible.
What is it about? And is there someway to read it?


Morning javaz, yes you may read some of it @


Thank you so much for this post KQuark.
Honestly, I can understand people blaming the Obama Administration for the most irresponsible set of new guidelines for breast cancer.
I admit that when I first heard this and then read about it in more depth that that was my first reaction, too.
First it was the Stupak Amendment and now this, which appears to place women’s health care issues on the back-burner for health care reform.
And really, I do not know what to believe, but imho, it does seem to be a measure prompted by the health insurance industry as a cost-saving measure.

Since the time regular mammograms have began, breast cancer deaths have dropped 30%. (I could find the link, but heard it this morning on CBS’s morning show from a woman doctor)

The recommendations go beyond mammograms, though.
Now, they say that women’s monthly self-breast exams are no deterrent and create too many women running to the doctor when they’ve found a lump, only to find, supposedly, that the majority of those lumps were not cancerous lumps at all.
So, they are now recommending that women stop examining their own breasts every month.

I do not give a damn about statistics, since the statistics they are using are from several different studies over many years that they put together to make their point in favor of insurance companies.
(again, this is from the female doctor off the CBS morning show, and I’ll find the link later, but would like to add that the doctor in favor of the new guidelines was allowed more time to speak and was allowed the final word)

This subject is of great importance to me, and I do not think that I am alone in being outraged.

As for mammograms being too painful, I say bullhockey.
I’ve had extremely painful mammograms performed by over-zealous technicians, just as I’ve had experiences with painful teeth cleanings by over zealous dental hygienists.

If the technician performing the mammogram does it correctly, there is no pain.
Yeah, it’s no fun having your breasts smashed thinner than a pancake from 2 different sides, but it doesn’t have to be painful if the procedure is done correctly.
Uncomfortable, yes, and wanting to scream, sure, but for the few seconds it takes, it’s better than the alternative.

A skilled mammogram tech acts swiftly, and doesn’t need to cause a woman undue pain from compressing more than the breast.
I’ve had mammograms by uncaring, inconsiderate techs that try to squeeze in glands besides the breast, and that is unnecessary.
I’ve had mammograms by techs who take their time after compression in walking around to click the button, and then slowly walk back before release.
Needless to say, I don’t go to those mammographers any longer.

Monthly self-exams and mammograms have saved lives.
What other procedure will they recommend be dropped next?
Yearly pap smears, which believe me are no fun at all, but imperative.

And here’s something to think about.
Breast cancer rates are rising in men.
Men should also check their breasts monthly and if you find a lump or discharge from a nipple, seek medical attention asap.
Breast cancer is no longer just a woman’s health issue.

My cousin, Louie, 57 years old, died from breast cancer last year.

Breast cancer kills, and as with any cancer, early detection is key.



Let’s see, Mammogram discomfort for a short time VS cancer?
Self exam VS cancer?

Having lost both parents to cancer(and being the primary caregiver)and now having cancer myself(in remmision), let me just state:

And you may quote me.


Mammograms alone are sometimes not enough, demand an echo scan, it is your right.

Yes bitohistory, cancer sucks big time. My mother died in the same hospital she last worked in, with the same nurses taking care of her that she had worked with during her time on the cancer ward, they treated her well, I’m so very grateful to all of them.


Why they do not use Echo scans is beyond me. Perhaps it is like QK says that the machinery that they sell (for mammograms) brings in a larger profit. My only objection with echos is that jell is cold (grin)

My nurses in oncology were true saints


I didn’t mind the gel, I usually ended up having these test at the height of our humid summers. I once asked the technician to spread it all over me, she laughed.

Echo scans pick up what a mammogram often misses when a woman’s breast tissue is denser than other women. It should be standard procedure everywhere.


Our plan does not cover, nor does it allow for me to ask for an echo scan.

Just like they send me for a bone density scan for osteoporosis, which is totally useless.
The last I read about those scans, which are nothing because you can leave your clothes on and you lie on an exray machine with your legs propped up on a cube, but there’s a better and actual test from drawing blood.

But guess what?
The additional blood work costs them too much so they settle for a meaningless scan.

Oh, I could on about this crap, but they try to push pharmaceutical pills on you, even when your calcium levels are too high.

It just outrages me, and thank goodness that I have my wits and access to the Internet.
All that I needed to do is stop taking calcium supplements!


No an echo scan is done with your clothes off and they apply a gel, it’s very much like a sonogram used on pregnant women to check the growth of the fetus and is much more accurate.


So sorry about your parents and you, and I will pray for you so that you continue to beat cancer.

You’re a very brave and good soul, bitohistory.


javez, that is kind of you saying that, but let’s not get carried away. I’m a mean old fart. 😛


I don’t mind old farts as long as they do not stink!


Bullshit. Just plain bullshit. Having a maternal grandmother who received a radical mastectomy in the 60’s, and survived with the scars (because reconstructive surgery was only for the wealthy) I am appalled at this bullshit being spun. It was on GMA this early a.m., probably because one of the co-anchors almost died from this disease.

Mammograms from age 40 on is and should be the rule. Screw their data, and I’m a big lover of data. It’s not just the potential of death, it’s also about the disfigurement and psychological pain that dictates being over-cautious. Based on my family history I’ve gone to specialists (and so has my mom and sister) since we hit 40.

Am I nuts, or are we still in a male-driven decision making environment when it comes to women’s health? Pathetic, regardless of them sending out Dr. Jeanne Mandelblatt to deliver the news, as if there is more credibility leant in this arena coming from a woman. Ha!

OK, calming down now. Thanks for letting me vent.


I’m outraged, too!

This has to be the most irresponsible piece of bullpuckey!

The maternal side of my family doesn’t die from cancer, but die from heart attacks.
My mom died suddenly from a heart attack in 1990 and she was healthy! Yet only 69 years old.

Every single aunt and one male cousin on my father’s side died from breast cancer, and my father and uncles died from cancer.

My odds when it comes to genetics aren’t great, but I do not want them to tell me now that I can only have a mammogram every other year.

F them.


Exactly, F ’em.


Personally I disagree with the premise that women should wait until their 50’s to get annual mammograms. For some women this could spell a death sentence as breast cancer usually is symptomless until a lump is found and and a biopsy can be arranged. The density of breast tissue also varies from woman to woman and from race to race.

I was in my late 30’s when doctors discovered 5 small nodules in my right breast through an echo scan due to the fact that the mammogram had failed to detect them. They turned out to be benign cysts but I was advised to come every 6 months and then every years because the risk of the cysts becoming cancerous were higher than for most women. Of course women with a family history of any type of cancer should start much sooner, better to be safe than sorry.

These statements from professional healthcare advisers are extremely misleading and irresponsible. If women are concerned they should consult with their doctors to arrange an echo scan, it is painless, only takes a few minutes and it could save lives. The first hospital I went to did a needle biopsy, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer, I went for a second opinion because the first doctor couldn’t advise me on a course of action and I left feeling confused.

I was lucky, so many of us are not. I still continue my annual tests every year for my family not to have to experience what I did when losing my mother when she was just 49 and remembering the agony she endured during the last 6 months of her life.

I also would advise on regular PAP smear test for women as early as their late 20’s, especially if they are sexually active. A dear Finnish friend of mine died of cervical cancer due to the chlamydia virus transmitted by her husband contracted during an affair with a younger woman, it still pains me to think about it.


My mother had a clean mammogram (she had a family history of beast cancer). Six months later she had a ‘smaller than a dime’ sized lump in her breast. 2 years later she was dead (RIP).
Hello, Kalima, I know there is no need to ask. Better today? (I hope)


How awful.

We need to pass this health care bill so people don’t have to put artificial limits on their health needs. So sorry about your mom….


To quote the many shits, hats, bags…. that I see at my cancer clinic.


Good afternoon bitohistory. Sorry to hear about your mother. My mother was fobbed off by her doctor too. Every symptom she had was explained away as the start of the menopause, they didn’t do a single test. My mother was a SRN for most of her life and knew that something was wrong. By the time they decided to operate after draining 11 liters of water from her body, the cancer had spread to every organ in her body, they could do nothing but sew her back up, offer chemo, but it was far too late for her.

That is why I would advocate the use of an echo scan, it is so much more reliable and can pinpoint the smallest nodule on the screen. I would imagine that it must be available in any hospital if people know in advance to ask for it. We need to be informed of our options, it is out right to want to live.

The procedure was not exactly 100% and I will have to return next Tuesday when I will have to ask for a steroid injection, even though I stopped them more than 3 years ago, I think that there is no other choice this time. Thanks for asking. 🙂

How are you?


Steroids are fun…and then you crash. I had them in my chemo regime.
“How am I?” No matter what, I am good. I am too familiar with much worse. 😛


The only thing that steroids ever did to me in the 18 years I endured them, was to make me gain weight.

The supposed 1 month relief from pain lasted for about 3 days with me. I should have stopped them sooner but my doctor really believed they would help, I didn’t want to disappoint him, silly I know but he’s a sweetheart. 🙂

I admire your strength and your upbeat take on your situation, I’m usually the same but it’s been a rough 3 weeks.