MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- What age should women begin screening mammograms? This controversial question resurfaced with an article in Annals of Internal Medicine concerning new guidelines by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. They propose women begin screening at age 50 and have mammograms every two years.
Opposing the USPSTF proposed guidelines is George Flinn, M.D., a Memphis radiologist who has seen many cases of women developing breast cancer in their 30s. He says, "The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the cure rate."
Raising the starting age for mammograms to 50, he says, is not about women's health, but about increasing insurance company profits. "There are 17 million women between the ages of 40 and 50 being denied best medical practices, and the only reason I can see is cutting cost to insurance companies," he observes. He adds, "The Affordable Care Act requires mammogram insurance coverage and raising the age to begin screenings represents politics—and insurance industry overreach—at their worst. If Congress approves the new proposed guidelines, he points out, women under age 50 will likely have to pay for them out of their own pockets.
He notes under current guidelines, women receiving annual mammograms beginning at age 40, the mortality from breast cancer has decreased 30 percent. Flinn points out that the task force had no specialists in breast cancer or radiology. The USPSTF recommendations sharply differ with those made by the American College of Radiology, Society of Breast Imaging, and American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, all of which recommend annual mammograms beginning at age 40.
Flinn is leading the Screen at 40 initiative urging people to sign a petition asking Congress to keep the screening age for annual mammograms beginning at age 40. The website for Screen at 40 is www.screenat40.com He has published op-ed pieces about the controversy and appeared on local CBS news.
George Flinn, M.D., is a West Tennessee-based physician with more than 40 years of experience practicing ultrasound and mammography. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and the American College of Radiology, and a member of the Society for Study of Breast Disease.
For more information, contact Jacob Ellerbee, 501-941-9322, or by email.
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SOURCE George Flinn, M.D.