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Issue One: Mammography

Written by Rosa Colucci on .

All about money

Where's the outrage? Some pseudo-government organization is dictating to all women how and when they should/can proactively screen for breast cancer ("Breast Cancer Screening Regimen Challenged," Nov. 17). It is insulting to our collective intelligence for this organization, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, to state that it wants to eliminate annual mammograms for women in their 40s because there is a 10 percent false positive. Do biannual mammograms eliminate those false positives? Come on!

And then the task force violates any modicum of common sense when it states that self-examination is worthless.

Where is the outrage? This is all about money and how much it costs (more than $5 billion per year) for these tests.

If this leaves a bad taste in your mouth for "big brother," wait until Obamacare gets a hold of you. Denial of care will be the standard. As those who live under socialized medicine tell us: The only thing that socialized medicine guarantees you is a place in a waiting line.

 

RODGER GURRENTZ
Murrysville


Prevention pays

I am writing in response to "Breast Cancer Screening Regimen Challenged" (Nov. 17). It has been suggested by some that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is changing its recommendations to lower health-care costs. If the task force was aiming to cut costs, ignoring health concerns and eliminating preventive care wouldn't be the right choice.

Preventive care procedures are done to catch illnesses early and treat them before they progress into more serious conditions. Many diseases, especially cancer, become increasingly more costly to treat as they develop. If the data supporting delaying mammograms isn't true, the task force would be increasing the probability of paying higher health-care costs to treat advanced breast cancer -- not cutting costs.

 

MARYBETH BAER
Shadyside

 

The writer is a student at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health.


 A death panel

Surprise! Surprise! A "government" panel has decided that annual mammograms before the age of 50 are not necessary or cost-effective. Hmmm, how will similar "death panels" -- although we certainly will not call them by that name -- work under government-run health care? I for one would certainly love to have the designers of the bailout and stimulus packages determining my medical care future. Wouldn't you?

 

GILBERT DADOWSKI
Moon

 

 

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