Friday, November 20, 2009

The Guidelines They Are A Changin'...

From the New York Times:

New guidelines for cervical cancer screening say women should delay their first Pap test until age 21, and be screened less often than recommended in the past.

The advice, from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, is meant to decrease unnecessary testing and potentially harmful treatment, particularly in teenagers and young women. The group’s previous guidelines had recommended yearly testing for young women, starting within three years of their first sexual intercourse, but no later than age 21.

Arriving on the heels of hotly disputed guidelines calling for less use of mammography, the new recommendations might seem like part of a larger plan to slash cancer screening for women. But the timing was coincidental, said Dr. Cheryl B. Iglesia, the chairwoman of a panel in the obstetricians’ group that developed the Pap smear guidelines. The group updates its advice regularly based on new medical information, and Dr. Iglesia said the latest recommendations had been in the works for several years, “long before the Obama health plan came into existence.”

She called the timing crazy, uncanny and “an unfortunate perfect storm,” adding, “There’s no political agenda with regard to these recommendations.”

It's always great when people deny a question that no one has even asked yet, right?

The timing is indeed suspicious. After decades of "better safe than sorry" and "get tested regularly" and "you're never too young to get tested" two groups come out and recommend rationing of health care just when there's a bill in Congress that calls for the same thing?

How stupid do they think we are, exactly?

If this recommendation has truly been in the works for several years, I wonder also why they chose not to make either of these announcements last month during Breast Cancer Awareness Month when it would have been actually been more timely to womens' health awareness.

No. this smacks of political arm twisting and back room deals and politics at its worst.

1 comment:

Kristi said...

You know what's also interesting? They don't recommend mammograms now until 35--in the past few months, SIX women in our little county under the age of 35 have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Hmm.