Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines
by Pat Battaglia
A Few Words about Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines
In light of the recently updated breast cancer screening guidelines issued by the United States Preventive Services Task force, we at the Breast Cancer Coalition would like members of our community at large to understand the reasons we do not take a position on these guidelines.
Breast cancer screening means checking those without any signs, symptoms, or risk factors for the disease. Having a personal history of breast cancer is prominent among these risk factors. The community we serve at the Coalition is primarily composed of those who have been diagnosed with breast and/or gynecologic cancer. We also serve those with risk factors that predispose them to these diseases. Screening guidelines for the general population do not apply to members of these groups.
For breast cancer survivors, it is important to monitor the breast tissue that remains after surgery. Health care providers are in the best position to make personalized recommendations for their patients regarding the best approach to screening for disease recurrence or a new cancer.
At the Coalition, we are committed to the community we serve. We meet most of them after their diagnoses, when screening guidelines are, unfortunately, no longer relevant. An important part of our mission is to empower informed decision-making, and we will discuss individual situations in confidence with those who turn to us with questions. However, we neither support nor refute any population-based screening guidelines.