Mammograms save lives

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Report recommending reducing exams is flawed

By The Staff

I have practiced oncology and hematology in Los Alamos for two years alongside Dr. Peter Lindberg.

Dr. Lindberg works on Tuesdays and cares for patients with prostate cancer. I take care of people with all other cancers and blood disorders all the other days of the week.

My practice is diverse, ranging from providing care for people with anemia to those with multiple myeloma, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, malignant brain tumors and many other diseases. They are from all walks of life.

I frequently work with medical oncologists and surgeons from around New Mexico and out-of-state.

In our practice, we answer many and varied questions, and I would like to address one we are hearing very often, based on reports in the media: Should women between the ages of 40 and 49 receive annual mammograms?

Recently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) revised its recommendations for mammograms, and no longer recommends annual mammograms for women between the ages of 40 and 49 or for women over the age of 75.

The USPSTF now says that women between the ages of 50 and 74 should receive mammograms every other year.

The USPSTF also no longer recommends self-breast examination and physician breast examination.

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