On the day of my own yearly mammogram, a grumpy technician walks into the cold, dark room and begins, ever so nonchalantly, to wrestle one of my poor boobs into submission and I wince. Yet in spite of the wild indignation that having my breasts squished conjures up in me, I thank God for these technicians and radiologists because without them, we'd all be a lot worse off.
The news this week that the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care is recommending that women under 50 do not receive mammograms and do not receive breast examinations as part of a regular physical examination just horrifies me. If that had been the "rule of the day" over 20 years ago, I would probably be dead now.
Let me try and boil down what the United States Preventive Services Task Force really is saying about PSA tests: Don't worry, be happy and oblivious. Because the treatment's after-effects can be rough. Don't worry, be happy, do nothing -- even though many of us know someone who has died young from prostate cancer.