November 18, 2009
State Senator and Cancer Survivor Mae Beavers Pushes
Back Against Federal Government’s Newly Suggested Guidelines Regarding Breast
(NASHVILLE, TN) – State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), who was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago, is outraged at the federal government’s newly suggested guidelines regarding breast cancer screening and testing. The new study from the United States Preventive Services Task Force released this week recommended against women receiving breast cancer screenings every year starting at the age of forty, and instead advises women to only receive them every two years starting after the age of fifty. In addition, the federal government is now advising that self-examination should not be used due to the number of false positives it produces.
“After all of the progress breast cancer awareness advocates have made over the years – when we have finally gotten many women in this country comfortable with preventative care and catching this disease early – the feds are going to try to reel back that progress and ignore the thousands of lives such testing saves every year,” said Beavers. “This sounds to me like the federal government is looking for ways to start rationing and yielding its heavy hand in the aftermath of the potential passage of a massive government-run healthcare bill, especially if such a bill looks to this task force for recommendations for insurance reform mandates.”
Beavers, who herself discovered her breast cancer through self examination, echoed the American Cancer Society’s reservations over the newly proposed guidelines, and is considering filing an urging resolution for next year’s legislative session that would stress the importance of all women consulting with their doctor and reviewing the many facts that are available concerning the benefits of self screening and annual testing after the age of forty. The resolution would suggest that the federal government consult with the American Cancer Society and various other organizations and physicians before issuing statements that might only confuse women and possibly reverse the positive gains
that have been made in regards to cancer prevention.