Mammography screening IS being abolished in Switzerland?

By: Bonnie Rush, RT(R)(M)(QM) Did you read that Mammography screening IS being abolished in Switzerland? It may not happen. But there’s continued controversy swirling around the value of early detection and mammography. Naysayers suggest that early detection with screening mammography may not be providing the biggest bang for the medical buck. They may be right about the value of mammography, but let’s make sure they do not forget, we want early detection and we are worth more than a buck – or even two. The concern is that this continued debate may cause insurance companies to throw out the baby (early detection) with the bathwater (mammography). While it is true that some breast cancers cannot be overcome no matter the timing of detection, earlier allows a better outcome in most cases and reduces the impact of treatment. Similar to having a cavity, if caught early enough one does not have to lose the entire tooth. I think the controversy on the value of this “early detection tool” points to the lack of adequate and realistic education about the limitations of mammography and how dense tissue impacts the ability to “see” cancers (white cancer in a white dense tissue background). Even the much-touted newest mammography technology – digital breast tomosynthesis – failed to find the invasive cancer buried in my dense tissue. And guess what – there are lots of me’s around. This includes ALL women when their hormones are the most active and makes mammography of less value in finding cancers and increases the amount of radiation to those “younger” breasts. Thus the generally accepted United States policy to...