Cutting Back on Cancer Screenings

health anxietyGiven that I am a longtime health and science writer, friends and family have been peppering me with questions about the new guidelines pushing back the age and frequency of screenings for cervical and breast cancer.

(For the record, you can go here for the cervical cancer screening guidelines and here for the breast cancer screening guidelines.)

In their tone, I can hear that they expect some outrage from me. After all, they?ve heard these cutbacks described in the news as cost-cutting at the expense of women?s lives.

What?s more, I?ve earned a reputation as knowing too much about the cancer threats most people sanely ignore. As a result, I?ve availed myself of pretty much every cancer screening test available, from head-to-toe skin cancer checks to colonoscopies. (And, yes, I started getting PAP tests at 19 and mammograms at 40.) I can also describe the cancer risks linked to showering with chlorinated water and recite the rogue?s gallery of carcinogens in grilled meat. It?s gotten to the point where I can clear the room with the words, ?Studies show??

So how do I feel about these proposed screening cutbacks?

Well, studies show they make perfect sense.

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