Category Archives: mammograms

In Reversal, Panel Urges Mammograms at 50, Not 40

What a crock of crap, I really can’t believe this. So many women in their 40’s get breast cancer and now some group with ties to doctors and insurance companies say it is ok not to have mammograms until your 50! How many women would be dead right now if they waited until 50 to have an examination:

Most women should start regular breast cancer screening at age 50, not 40, according to new guidelines released Monday by an influential group that provides guidance to doctors, insurance companies and policy makers.

The new recommendations, which do not apply to a small group of women with unusual risk factors for breast cancer, reverse longstanding guidelines and are aimed at reducing harm from overtreatment, the group says. It also says women age 50 to 74 should have mammograms less frequently — every two years, rather than every year. And it said doctors should stop teaching women to examine their breasts on a regular basis.

Just seven years ago, the same group, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, with different members, recommended that women have mammograms every one to two years starting at age 40. It found too little evidence to take a stand on breast self-examinations.

The task force is an independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care appointed by the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

Its new guidelines, which are different from those of some professional and advocacy organizations, are published online in The Annals of Internal Medicine They are likely to touch off yet another round of controversy over the benefits of screening for breast cancer.

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Filed under Breast Cancer, mammograms, NY Times

Chris Christie and Breast Cancer: Taking Exception To "An Exception"

There is no exception when it comes to saving a life. I know this from my own personal experience, having been diagnosed with breast cancer at age 19 without a history in my family. After viewing a recent interview, I took exception with a response indicating that a cancer diagnosis in a young person is simply “an exception,” a characterization made by Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie at a forum conducted at Rider University. It is hard to believe that Mr. Christie can be so out-of-touch with the reality of health care in our communities.

It was shocking to hear the interview with a woman who was seeking the candidate’s opinion on mandatory insurance coverage for mammograms, which is a tool in diagnosing breast cancer. Mr. Christie was dismissive in saying that the cancer surgery the woman had when she was in her 20s was “an exception.” These situations are not exceptions as Mr. Christie may think, and the numbers prove it.

Medical professionals and patients agree that preventive care needs to be a priority as it saves lives and money in the longterm. Patients need confidence that their insurance providers will not find exclusions for coverage such as preexisting conditions, family history or some arbitrary notion that the patient is young and therefore considered “an exception.” We cannot undermine the need for access to screening techniques, whether mammograms, sonograms or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests, which are all available with today’s technology.

It is frightening to learn that Christie would give insurance companies free rein to drop coverage for critical procedures like mammograms. The woman from Rider is not “an exception” and a mandate is not an “extravagant benefit” for “young, single consumers,” as Mr. Christie stated on his Web site as of September 27, 2009.

Governor Jon Corzine, along with Senator Loretta Weinberg and other legislators have fought hard to assure that insurance companies provide adequate coverage for women’s health needs. In 1991, mandates were established for women over 40 years of age to be covered for annual mammograms. It has only been five years since insurance company mandates have been expanded to cover mammograms for women under 40 if they have a family history.

According to the National Cancer Institute 2005 and 2006 Fact Book, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in young women ages 15-54. For 25 years we have recognized this month of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month which promotes awareness, education and empowerment.

This movement has been stressing “early detection saves lives”. Many children are being raised by their mothers as a result of early detection. We cannot turn back the clock and allow any wiggle room for insurance companies to drop coverage for mammograms or other vital diagnostic tests. We need to continue advocating for staying healthy. It is the pillar of a strong society. Our future depends upon it. To that, there can be no exception.

Amy A. Mallet
Monmouth County Freeholder

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Filed under Amy Mallet, Breast Cancer, Chris Christie, Gov. Jon Corzine, mammograms

Women Turn Away From Christie Over Mammogram Issue

NewJerseyNewsroom

Democracy Corps poll finds Corzine now ahead of Republican challenger by 3 percentage points

With less than four weeks remaining before Election Day, a new Democracy Corps poll made public Thursday gives Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine a 3 percentage point lead over Republican challenger Chris Christie.

Corzine leads 41 percent to Christie’s 38 percent with Independent Chris Daggett garnering 14 percent, his highest level yet.

Earlier in the week, another poll showed Corzine with a 1 percentage point lead.

The poll found that a barrage of criticism by Corzine’s campaign over Christie’s position on insurance coverage for mammograms for women turned potential women voters, especially independent women, against the Republican.

The poll was conducted for Washington-based Democracy Corps by Greenberg Quinlan, Rosner Research. James Carville and Stan Greenberg, who run the non-profit Democracy Corps have worked in the past as Democratic Party strategists.

The poll found Corzine has consolidated the vote among his base, crossing the 80 percent threshold among Democrats and winning for the first time more Democrats that Christie has Republicans.

The poll also found Christie’s standing has declined markedly in the last two weeks, with 42 percent now rating the Rep ublican as unfavorable versus 30 percent who rate him favorably. The 12-point favorability decline equals a 10-point decline from two weeks ago.

Corzine is rated favorably by 37 percent of voters and unfavorably by 46 percent.

The poll states, “As he faced a withering assault from Corzine and independent groups over the issue of insurance coverage of mammograms, Christie has lost significant ground with women, especially independent women. He now posts a net favorability rating of -19 with women, down from -7 two weeks ago. Among independent women, the drop is even more pronounced: from -7 two weeks ago to -34 today, with half the independent women giving him an unfavorable rating. This has clearly benefited Corzine in the vote as the governor now leads among women by 14 points, up from 6 points two weeks ago.”

Daggett is identified by 45 percent of voters, an increase of 16 points over the last two weeks, though his overall favorability ratings remain only lukewarm at -4 points, about where he has been since the poll began tracking the race in August.

The poll was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday among 614 likely voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent.

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Filed under Chris Christie, Democracy Corps, Gov. Jon Corzine, mammograms, New Jersey Newsroom, opinion poll, Tom Hester

Breast Cancer Survivors Tell Christie: We Are Not An Exception

If Chris Christie still feels it is OK to have “mandate-free” health insurance policies written in this state, than he needs to take a look at this latest video From the Corzine campaign.

In this video, Breast Cancer survivors speak out to tell Mr. Christie that mammograms and other forms of preventative procedures are not only necessary but essential in early detection and the prevention of not just Breast Cancer but all forms of cancer.

Two people that I would like to point out to anyone who watches this video are Monmouth County Freeholder Amy Mallet, who as a 19 year old was the victim of Breast Cancer and my wife Debbie, who completed her treatments of chemotherapy and radiatoin in June of this year.

Without mammograms and other proceedures being mandated as part of insurance policies here in the New Jersey, who’s to say that Amy Mallet, my wife, or others in their situation would be here today to tell us their stories.

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Filed under Amy Mallet, Breast Cancer, Chris Christie, Gov. Jon Corzine, mammograms

DNC LAUNCHES NEW WEB AD: "Chris Christie: Bad Temper, Bad Policies"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2009

The DNC today released a new web ad that highlights a testy exchange Chris Christie had with a cancer survivor at the New Jersey Politics forum at Rider University on September 16, 2009 – exposing once again Christie’s explosive temper. The exchange highlights Chris Christie’s health care plan which would allow insurance companies to offer “mandate free” policies which would allow insurance providers to drop mammograms and other vital preventive treatments.

Unlike Christie, Governor Corzine stands with President Obama in support of a health insurance reform plan that would provide Americans with security and stability. Chris Christie’s health insurance policies would reduce the quality of care, limit access to coverage and would only serve to pad insurance company profits.

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Filed under Chris Christie, DNC, Gov. Jon Corzine, health insurance, Health Care, hot temper, insurance industry, mammograms, mandate free, quality care, Ryder University

Chris Christie’s ‘Macaca Moment’ on Health Care

John R. Bohrer – Huffington Post

New Jersey’s off-year gubernatorial race has been pretty boring for outsiders, except for maybe the TV ad accusing Chris Christie, the Republican nominee, of “throwing his weight around.” (Christie’s on the heavy side.)

The ad was supposed to draw attention to the fact that Christie got away with some pretty obscene driving offenses, but really, no one cares about that stuff. New Jersey’s race isn’t about driving, it isn’t about corruption, it isn’t about President Obama — it’s about the state economy and taxes. The inability of Governor Jon Corzine, a Democrat, to find his footing on the economy has made him deeply unpopular for a long, long time. Pundits believe he’s a surefire loser.

So do national Republicans. According to U.S. News & World Report, GOP strategists in Washington will milk a Corzine loss for all its worth, trying to delay the vote on health care reform in order to “[scare] moderate Democrats away from the Obama plan as they worry about their own re-election in 2010.”

But like a lot of other outsiders, the Republicans in Washington haven’t been watching this race closely enough.

If they had been, they’d know that the Christie camp is deeply concerned about the health care debate hurting their candidate. A little more than a week ago, while the rest of the country was buzzing about the ‘Look At That Fat Guy’ ad, Corzine also started airing a TV spot informing voters that Christie supports health insurance companies who deny coverage for mammograms.

The ad must have hurt in the Republicans’ polling, because in no time at all, Christie — long the frontrunner in this race — was forced to play defense.

In light of Christie’s response, the Star-Ledger says Corzine’s ad “happens to be true.”

Final word on this? No way. Christie, when questioned by a cancer survivor, was emphatic when explaining why insurance companies should deny mammograms to young women. The cancer survivor tells him that in fact she had been diagnosed with cancer in her twenties. To that, Christie continues to defend the health insurance companies — and even gets nasty and dismissive with the woman — insisting that dropping mammograms is A-OK because “that’s an exception.”

This is Christie’s ‘macaca moment,’ unleashing his nasty side to show people what Republicans really think about providing all Americans with decent, quality health care. He’s saying that insured or not — if you’re a young woman who wants a mammogram, a health insurance company shouldn’t have to pay because “that’s an exception.”

Christie’s nasty attitude and dismissive tone toward the cancer survivor only makes it worse for him. In July, I wrote that Republicans were endangering Christie — perhaps their only rising star in the Northeast — by stalling the health care reform vote and carrying the debate into October. That was before the rancor and lies of August. New Jersey is still a very blue state, with many more Democratic-leaning independents than Republican ones. The GOP’s angry rhetoric toward the President and his efforts to reform the health care system do not endear Republicans to these voters — voters Christie needs to win this election.

Now Christie is on film, getting short with someone for daring to question the whims of the health care industry. He’s going to have a tough time not looking like just another anti-reform Republican, disdainful for the economic concerns of average citizens just trying to stay healthy.

If Corzine plays his cards right, Christie will have a hell of a time keeping voters focused on the issues he wants. Christie will win this race if GOP opposition to health care reform doesn’t become the leading issue; he may even win it if it does. But if Republicans in Washington believe they can continue their antics without paying the price for it, they may soon think again.

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Filed under Breast Cancer, Chris Christie, Gov. Jon Corzine, health care reform, mammograms, New Jersey, Republicans, the GOP, The Huffington Post, the Star-Ledger, US News and World Reports, Washington DC

Video: It’s a right, not a privilege

With the health care debate raging and tempers at town hall meeting boiling over, the Corzine campaign has released their latest video highlighting their achievements at making heath care more accessible and affordable for New Jerseyans.

Universal access to health care coverage for children and mandating insurance companies to provide coverage for mammograms for women under 40 with a history of family breast cancer are a few of the highlights featured.

The video then contrasts Governor Corzine’s health care achievements with the do-nothing, status-quo approach of Chris Christie that would cut health benefits for many who live in our state.

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Filed under Breast Cancer, Chris Christie, Corzine'09, Gov. Jon Corzine, Health Care, Lorretta Weinberg, mammograms, New Jersey, universal health care access for children