American Morning

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November 18th, 2009
01:41 PM ET

We Listen: Your comments 11/18/2009

Editor's Note: As women absorbed news of the new recommendations on mammograms, Wednesday’s American Morning audience deconstructed the possible repercussions. Most were outraged, seeing the move as an attempt to save money for insurance companies at the expense of women’s lives.

  • Claude: It is painful to watch that government employee explain the most ill-advised recommendation for mammograms. She is the most unintelligible person ever to deal with such an important issue. Please don't let up on this topic and ludicrous recommendations until they retract it and fire everyone that published it, please don't…
  • Kat: I am appalled that Ms. Marion has single-handedly dealt a blow to women's health. With her careless remarks, she has given the insurance companies a reason to deny coverage of routine mammograms for women, as if we don't have problems with insurance companies as it is. She is cold, heartless, and is in no position to be making these recommendations. Thousands, if not millions of women, will die because of her recommendation...what is she, a nurse? I trust Dr. Gupta, and I applaud his handling of the interview with her.
  • Jillian: Just heard piece on breast screenings. I am amazed. Everywhere we look, there are promptings to support the fight with pink ribbons. The 'findings' are a smack against all we have gained in this fight. Amazing, just amazing. I think you hit it on the head when you talked about the millions to be saved. That's really what it is about. Money-Greed.
  • Colin: Y'all ganged up on Lucy about the changes in screening recommendations. And in your zeal to try to get an obviously poor spokesman for her side to declare that people under 50 "have no value," you completely missed her point. Set aside your indignation for a second and think about this: the line has to be somewhere. If they set it at 50, you get the shameful segment you aired at about 7:45. But, if they put it back to 40, then all of your arguments work to move the line to 30. I'm sure there are women who could benefit from routine screening starting at 30. I bet we could find some sparse statistics of women with no prior history who were diagnosed in their 20s. So, stop for a second in your breathless desire to slam that woman and hear what she's saying (albeit, not very well). The line has to be set somewhere, so if you're outraged they moved it to 50 from 40, then explain to me why they shouldn't move the line to 35, 30 or 25.

How do you feel about the task force's guidelines on mammograms? Continue the conversation below.

Filed under: We Listen
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Karen

    I am an infrequent participant in these conversations, but I feel compelled to thank the staff of American Morning for refraining from dwelling on the mammogram nonsense. I have felt for a long time that the recommendation for annual mammograms for every woman is overkill and money wasted. I am a low-risk woman, but of course they found something to remove surgically, which would have done no harm. (An anecdote to balance all the anecdotes being reported.) What ever happened to common sense? It is so out of style! I hear Secretary Sebelius trying to restore some common sense. This new finding is what research does. It challenges our old assumptions. What we – and the medical community – do with it is our choice.

    November 19, 2009 at 9:28 am |


    November 19, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  3. Fred H

    I have been in full support of President Obama in all that he is trying to accomplish for our country. However, this business of trying these murderers in our civilian courts, I feel, is a terrrible mistake. The President should make the AG reverse this decision and send these individuals back to military tribunals. We are, after all, in a state of war with them. This is the rhetoric that they spout. We should not be concerned as to whether they have their rights. They didn't worry about the rights of the 3,000 Americans they murdered, why should we worry about them. We should try them in tribunals and then proceed to hang them in public!

    November 19, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  4. Stuart Harden

    Please stop the "Just Sayin'" "bit". Commentary has its' place, even colloquialism, but news is best with a minimal of either.

    November 19, 2009 at 8:44 am |
  5. Lorraine

    In 1997 I had a routine mammogram. which was immediately followed by an ultrasound because the radiologist saw something suspicious. He immediately called my GYN who IMMEDIATELY called me several times and highly suggested I call a surgeon. It was cancer, large, 3cm x 5cm. I had a lumpectomy with lymphnodectomy, showing 3 out of 5 lymphnodes positive for cancer. I went through 6 months of chemo and 7 weeks (every day) of radiation. I am today 60. If that had not been found prior to the age of 50 for routine mammograms, I would be dead. I have no family history for breast cancer, so I am the first. I will be getting the BRCA gene test in two weeks to see if this gene is being passed down to my daughter and possibly grandaughter. I am alive and well thanks to the mammogram.

    November 19, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  6. Alan Ramsey

    Our justice system isn’t weakened. Transparency strengthens justice in the long term. We see how weak the Islamic courts are when they seal off transparency. Everybody knows that Islamic law, which prides itself in its secrecy and its unabashed supremacist foundations, is grounded in injustice, particularly against women.

    It’s interesting that those who are against our civilian justice system are the same voices who seek a more theocratic (‘Christian’ ) justice system and governance over America. They are no different than the Islamic extremists. In fact, here are their marching orders, which say it all:

    “Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors - in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.”

    – Dr. D. James Kennedy, Pastor of Coral Ridge Ministries, ‘Reclaiming America for Christ’ conference, February, 2005

    We don’t need American justice to mirror Islamic injustice.

    November 19, 2009 at 8:38 am |
  7. Jane

    I think we've all been sold a bill of goods about yearly mammograms for all women starting at age 40.


    '....Radiation from routine mammography poses significant cumulative risks of initiating and promoting breast cancer....the routine practice of taking four films for each breast results in .... 1 rad, focused on each breast rather than the entire chest .... Thus, premenopausal women undergoing annual screening over a ten-year period are exposed to a total of about 10 rads for each breast.... the premenopausal breast is highly sensitive to radiation, each rad of exposure increasing breast cancer risk by 1 percent, resulting in a cumulative 10 percent increased risk over ten years of premenopausal screening, usually from ages 40 to 50....'

    I have no intention of subjecting myself to this level of risk before reaching menopause.

    10 years ago, HRT was supposed to be good for women. Now it is known to increase the risk for cancer. 10 years from now, I believe the same will be known as true for mammography.

    How do we know that all the early screenings via mammography over these past years have not actually INCREASED the amount of breast cancer that we are supposedly attempting to prevent and cure?

    Thermography is a much safer, less expensive and more effective alternative to mammography for breast cancer screening. It exists today but is not made widely available to most women. Why not?

    November 19, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  8. joele

    ksm try him jail him so what . kill him . so what . he is a piece of garbage that did a terrible thing . by fighting over him you make him important.
    this is what he wants you to do . make him more important .

    stop ,
    stop talking about him,
    stop making him famous
    stop putting all of the killers on your front page.

    November 19, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  9. MoneyedPoliticians

    Guaranteed issue? At what price? It'll work only with "community rating" (ie, same price as others in the area).

    Jack Lohman
    Colgate, WI

    November 19, 2009 at 7:25 am |
  10. eunice bowen

    Why is it weakness to have a trial in the city where the crime occured but people are showing just how scared people are by playing the fear card it seens to me whatever bush did everything was ok but with obama everything is question why is that?maybe because hes a young black president i don't understand this at all the man doesn't seen to be able to do anything right in your eyes and the eyes of all the complainers.

    November 19, 2009 at 7:01 am |
  11. Susan Vineyard

    Keeping the terrorists in Cuba like we are afraid of them is cowardly. Bringing them to New York and treating them like criminals is not. It's about time we lanced that festering wound.

    Until we get those monsters tried, we will not have closure on 9-11. I don't feel that those tried in military tribunals really get a fair trial. I want those monsters tried in a fair American court and convicted.

    The GOP is using this situation to create fear and discord. They are the ones I am afraid of!

    November 19, 2009 at 6:41 am |
  12. MoneyedPoliticians

    Before we complain about corruption in the Afghanistan government, we should stop campaign contributions and the resulting corruption in our own congress.

    Jack Lohman
    Colgate, WI

    November 19, 2009 at 6:39 am |
  13. MoneyedPoliticians

    Before we complain about corruption in the Afghanistan government, we should stop campaign contributions and the resulting corruption in congress.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:37 am |
  14. Tim

    Food for thought... Gov. health care. I really haven't made up my mind one way or another. But for all those that sit and judge what is best. Let me ask one question. If those of us that are working and a good number of us are now unemployed. You have a health care bill in the senate. Ok fine. But I ask you. If we can't afford insurance now. How will we afford it later? Hopefully we have jobs by then.

    Another thing if a person can not afford insurance. How may I ask wii they be able to pay this fine you intend to oppose on them for not having insurance.

    Those of you that we the people have elected into office, should sit back and look at how this country was built. By blood sweat and tears. Hard working folks that live day to day, Check to check. Now with the unemployment so high, and the economy in the shape it is. You want to fine those that put you where you are... in charge of our lives.

    Instead of helping, all you want to do is take, putting us deeper than we already are. Think about it before you make that all important vote.

    November 18, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  15. w gaman md

    The unspoken words here are that the task force on health looks at the costs and decides how the money is best spent and they have an acceptable disease frequency and an acceptable DEATH rate. Mammaograms are not the only topic they apply this warped thinking to. This just reinforces that they are not the gold standard on health matters and in fact they have just discredited themselves on all matters.

    November 18, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  16. Ko in Va.


    I would like to make one thing clear. The Oath from the "Oath Keepers." is not a special oath. Nor is it anything new. In fact, the 'oath of office' all commissioned officers (of all U.S. Armed Services) do not have the promise to obey the officers appointed above them. This includes the president. So, that group is not doing anything new. I gather that the founder is a former enlisted soldier. Not an army officer. If he was, he would have known better. You guys can do better than this. As a U.S. Army officer, my oath is to the constitution.

    November 18, 2009 at 8:09 pm |
  17. inde

    We live in a nanny driven media and leadership atmosphere. People need to use their brains and gut to make decisions; and not be impacted by what many "so called experts" say. Some time ago, I saw a doctor being interviewed about the so called miracle cervical cancer vaccine. He was so happy about it. The host asked what the side effects were. The doctors says matter of factly; heart failure but we can treat that." The host nearly fell out of his chair. Sadly, their is so much money being passed in healthcare and people being hidden lobbyists or paid reps; that the American people often don't know who to trust. If you can't trust health insurance companies and Big Pharma (people who are suppose to help the vulnerable) and doctors wooed by these unethical industries; that is such a sad state in America. Why? Because it is truly hard to find the good guys/gals in healthcare working for the good.

    November 18, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  18. Jason

    Colin is exactly right. There are many tests that would save lives but they aren't done for many different reasons. "Ms." Marion (who is actually Dr. Marion, with a PhD from UIC) is not going to be responsible for the deaths of thousands, and certainly not millions, of women. and she isn't a government employee. And she will not profit in anyway by releasing these findings. If profit had been the motive, they could have recommended earlier and more frequent screening. And if they wanted to take the easy road, they wouldn't have made the recommendation for change at all. The panel looked at the data and made a decision. They have recommended that women under 50 do the same.

    November 18, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  19. Sheila Schmidt

    I'm 47 at the age of 45 I went in for my annual physical *just because I finally had health insurance*, had breast examined everything fine...scheduled mammogram about a month later had that...called to redo it just to make sure...had biopsy...I found out I had 3 unfelt lumps in right breast stage 3 HER 2+ breast cancer...had double mastectomy...still being treated (last herceptin treatment tommorrow) whoo hoo...those ding a lings who say wait until 50...well if I would have waited until 50 I would have been dead....I still could be dead by 50 but at least I just say my grand daughters 2nd last year and a half has been a roller coaster ride for sure and I have been very ill and had my share of surgeries but I am still alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WIth tons of bills and paying cobra and on disability now with neuropathy and two breast recontrustive surgeries....I can still smile when I see my grand daughter

    November 18, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  20. Renee DeAngelo

    This is outrageous and irresponsible. I'm afraid the insurance industry (that ONLY cares about profits and not people) will use this as an excuse to refuse to cover screening mammography. Currently this and self exam are our only tools. I do not want to be a pawn in the industry's goal for increased profits. This is exactly why we need reform. Besides, a large percentage of women with breast cancer have no risk factors!. I am fighting mad over this and want to strongly encourage all women to be very vocal. We will not stand for steps backward in the realm of women's health care.

    November 18, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  21. Tim

    Health Care...The way I see it. It's not the cost of insurance. It has to start with the medical field. I do not have insurance. ! can not afford it. 2. It wasn't offered at my job.. But think about it. Why is insurance so high. Doctors, Hospitals, Cinics. I was really sick a couple weeks ago, Held off the best I could, But I had to see a doctor.
    One cliinic wanted to charge me $116.00 just to get in the door, another $125.00. I finally found one for $92.00. That was just to get into the door. Now multiply that by how many people a day. It's now wonder insurance rates are so high. I realize that it cost alot to go to medical school. But they don't need to make it back in six months. In the same breath look at what things cost for the disabled people. There is now way things cost that much. It's all based on because they need it, so they will have to pay.

    November 18, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  22. Colleen

    You should all be ashamed of the tabloid journalism you engaged in this AM. Rather than giving any balanced perspective on risks versus benefits or screening indications you concentrated on the sensational "are you saying my life isn't worth it" arguement. I can only guess that Dr. Gupta gets paid more for being bombastic and insulting than he would for providing a scientific critique of medical literature. There is plenty of room for intelligent debate regarding the age to initiate breast cancer screening – your entire team did a great disservice by ignoring this opportunity and choosing instead to be sensational.

    November 18, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  23. Kim

    I wonder if they will now come out with a rule that men can have prostate exams until they are 50? NOT!!!

    November 18, 2009 at 1:43 pm |