I saw this story on the news yesterday and I was surprised by it, but here’s my personal take on it:
1. Mammograms in general just aren’t that great. How many of us have had a family member/friend who went in for a biospy and it turned out to be nothing. This happens ALL, THE, TIME. In general we need better technology to detect. Fibrous breast tissue isn’t good, many women have cyst all through their breasts which make the mammograms almost useless. It’s amazing there’s nothing else yet!
2. When women go in for things that are nothing, there is a chance of complications, be they infection or whatever, every time we have surgery and find out it was “nothing” that’s an issue for the medical community. It’s essentially wasted dollars (that could be used to better the mammorgram technology), and again — giving the possilibility of complications.
3. Radiation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Radiation causes cancer, and I think we’ve all just decided that X-rays and Cat scans are just fine, but in reality they can CAUSE cancer. Mammograms use radiation to detect cancer, and the less we’re exposed the better. As I laid on the table last week getting an X-ray of my spine I realized that I need to be more careful about how my own body is taken care of, and make sure that medical tests really are necessary…
4. For me it all boils down to a personal relationship with your physician, and obtaining an accurate history, leaving it up to them and hoping that they are up to date on the most recent findings. Talk with your doctor before you go in for the squish.
In the end we really need to look at how we use our health care dollars. We need to have informed practices and not just doing things that make people not want to sue us.
However, I’m torn — because I know lots of people who’ve had breast cancer detected before age 50. I’m not sure how we’re going to detect it if they’re saying no self exams, no mammograms, and doctor’s exams might be useful either. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out, either way it has made me think a little more about the use of our healthcare dollars and how we can effectively spend them.
And people, I’m out of questions. Do you want to see TMI Tuesdays die? I could do one on people dying, I’ve seen that a few times also… but I don’t think anyone would want to read it….