Mammography and Politics

I actually think that politics has a hand in all human interaction, so for me it’s not much of a stretch to think the changing guidelines for women with regard to when to start mammograms to screen for breast cancer is benefiting some political agenda.  Because it sure isn’t benefitting women.  Trouble is, I can’t figure out why, say, insurance companies would support the concept of women being screened later.  If cancer is found later, the cost of treatment goes up…unless they’ve crunched the numbers and discovered that the number of women who would be sacrificed by later mammograms is statistically insignificant to the total picture.

Anybody have any ideas?

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4 Responses to “Mammography and Politics”

  1. Dan says:

    The recommendation was made by the US Preventive Services Task Force (http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstfab.htm). Of their 12 members, 5 are women. I would say if there’s a political agenda being served, we’d need to look at the political affiliations of the members to figure out that agenda, don’t you? Do any of the names seem familiar from any previous political skirmishes?:

    Bruce N. Calonge, M.D., M.P.H. (Chair)
    Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist
    Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, CO

    Susan Curry, Ph.D.
    Dean, College of Public Health
    Distinguished Professor
    University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

    Allen J. Dietrich, M.D.
    Professor, Community and Family Medicine
    Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH

    David Grossman, M.D., M.P.H.
    Medical Director, Preventive Care and Senior Investigator, Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative
    Professor of Health Services and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics
    University of Washington, Seattle, WA

    George Isham, M.D., M.S.
    Medical Director and Chief Health Officer
    HealthPartners, Minneapolis, MN

    Michael L. LeFevre, M.D., M.S.P.H.
    Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine
    University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO

    Rosanne Leipzig, M.D., Ph.D
    Professor, Geriatrics and Adult Development, Medicine, Health Policy
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

    Joy Melnikow, M.D., M.P.H.
    Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine
    Associate Director, Center for Healthcare Policy and Research
    University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA

    Bernadette Melnyk, Ph.D., R.N., C.P.N.P./N.P.P.
    Dean and Distinguished Foundation Professor in Nursing
    College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation
    Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ

    Wanda Nicholson, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.
    Associate Professor
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD

    J. Sanford (Sandy) Schwartz, M.D.
    Leon Hess Professor of Medicine, Health Management, and Economics
    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Wharton School, Philadelphia, PA

    Timothy Wilt, M.D., M.P.H.
    Professor, Department of Medicine, Minneapolis VA Medical Center
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

  2. admin says:

    That’s going to take a bit of research, but it’s worth looking into. For example, how many of these doctors are getting funding dollars from drug companies?

  3. can i translate in Russian and post on my blog? )

  4. admin says:

    Yes, absolutely! And if you get any responses, please send them back to me. Spacebo (I know it’s not spelled correctly, but I do know it means “thank you”)

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