November 24, 2009 08:00 ET

EmpowHER Interviews Member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force About Early Detection Against Breast Cancer Recommendations

Government's Breast Cancer Recommendations Leave Experts Puzzled

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - November 24, 2009) - Women's health media company, EmpowHER has interviewed Bernadette Melnyk, Ph.D., R.N., C.P.N.P/N.P.P., a member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force on their early detection against breast cancer recommendations. Others interviews include, Jay K. Harness, M.D., President of Breast Surgeons International, Deb Weintraub, a spokesperson from Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Susan Stewart, a breast cancer survivor and member of EmpowHER's community.


The Task Force's recommendations suggest:

--  Women in their 40s do not need routine mammograms, unless a
    predisposition exists
--  Women should get a mammogram every two years starting at age 50,
    unless a predisposition exists
--  Self breast exams do more harm than good for women without

The new government recommendations contradict the long-standing advice from the American Cancer Society which says that women starting at age 40 should have a screening mammogram every year and breast self-exams should start in their 20s.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force member Dr. Melnyk, a member of EmpowHER's Medical Advisory Board, was asked to explain why the USPSTF recommends women shouldn't get mammograms until 50 years old and breast self-exams shouldn't be taught.


When asked if he supports the new government task force's recommendations, Dr. Harness, M.D., also a member of EmpowHER's Medical Advisory Board, President of Breast Surgeons International and former president of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, explained, "I do not... we have a wealth of information that supports the recommendation that mammograms should start at age 40."

To solicit advocate and patient perspectives, EmpowHER spoke with Deb Weintraub, Director of Mission Programs for The Los Angeles Affiliate for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. And because 18% of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the US are between the ages of 40 and 49, EmpowHER interviewed breast cancer survivor Susan Stewart, whose cancer was first detected at age 37 during her routine breast self-exam and verified by a follow-up mammogram.


EmpowHER is a health media company for women. The Company's website,, provides women with access to condition-specific health information, world-class medical resources, and a dynamic community of experts and advocates committed to their well-being. Millions of women visit every year, making it one of the largest and fastest-growing resources dedicated exclusively to women's health and wellness.

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