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Christina Applegate Speaks Out Against New Breast Cancer Testing Guidelines

Christina Applegate Is Ready to Fight

When the new guidelines for breast exams came out late last year, I admit that I was surprised. They were announced just as National Breast Cancer Awareness month was ending: women in their 40s should no longer have annual mammograms, and women between the ages of 50-74 should have one exam every other year. The United States Preventive Services Task Force also recommended that doctors stop teaching women how to examine their own breasts.

The panel defended its choice by stating that the harm of early testing far outweighs the benefit. The research it looked over indicated that mammograms produce false-positive results in about 10 of cases, which leads to more tests, anxiety, and unneeded treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. According to the study, early screening did little to prevent breast-cancer-related deaths or mastectomies in younger women.

To hear what breast cancer survivor and actress Christina Applegate thinks of the new testing guidelines,



It wasn't surprising that this announcement sparked a huge debate on both sides. The American Cancer Society vehemently opposes the new guidelines and says that routine mammograms are key in detecting early cancer and preventing mastectomies and breast-cancer-related deaths.

Recently Christina Applegate added to the debate, saying this about the issue:

"Don't even get me started. Look, I just started to sweat. I get a little angry. I don't mind being outspoken about that. I think that is the most atrocious thing that I've ever heard. I was 36 years old when I had breast cancer, and you're going to have people wait until like their 50 to get screened? It irks my whole body. I'm telling you it's not going to happen. We women will fight against that as much as we can."

It's clear that this debate will continue to pick up steam on both sides — it will also be interesting to see if these new guidelines change current health insurance policies. How do you feel about the new testing guidelines? Are you as upset as Christina? Share your thoughts with me in the comments section below.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
sblighm sblighm 7 years
You may think that mammograms are the ideal screening tool. Unfortunately...Mammograms expose your body to radiation that can be 1,000 times greater than that of a chest x-ray-- this makes you vulnerable, unnecessarily, to further risks of radiation-induced cancer. Additionally, mammography compresses the breasts tightly (and often painfully), which could lead to a lethal spread of any existing malignant cells. Solution to your breast health??? Look into Thermography!!! In a nutshell, Thermal Imaging creates a digital map of your body that illustrates heat patterns -- patterns that may detect some condition or abnormality. It uses a scanning-type infrared camera that measures your body surface temperature, presenting the information as a digitized image. It is reliable and accurate and uses absolutely NO radiation.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
Regardless of what someone tells me I will self check every two weeks and once I hit 30 I'll go in for yearly mammograms. It's like someone telling me I should stop going in for pap smears. They may be uncomfortable but I'd rather have peace of mind.
Mariannie Mariannie 7 years
Im definitely all for being able to choose and have a wide array of options for your own health care. I think it should be my choice whether I get a mammogram or not. Nevertheless, Im also deeply concerned about the amount of radiation mammograms emit, which are also a cause for cancer. So, given the facts, Im all for each patient being able to make their own decision after measuring the pros and cons (not having health insurance or the government making that decision instead).
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Okay. Well, I hope Christina has stopped smoking, if she's that serious about breast cancer prevention/screening.
cleveraven00 cleveraven00 7 years
My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in her late 40s. She had waited 6 months before she told me and I freaked out on her and told her she better go to the doctor. She was barely in stage 2. She had two surguries on her right breast and chemo treatment for 8 months. I am very proud to say that she has been in remission for 5 years! If she would have waited until she was 50, she probably would not have had a chance to survive.
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