Many of us were surprised to read that the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) is recommending that women get their first mammograms at age 50, not 40–and, more shockingly, that doctors stop advising women to administer monthly self-exams on their breasts.

For followers of health trends, though, the recommendations are not so shocking.  There is an ongoing debate on the delicate line between “early detection” and “over-treating” in many aspects of health care, notably prostate cancer, in which men are often diagnosed and treated for cancers that run almost no risk of killing them.

Now, the arguments are being made that early mammograms save too few lives–and yield too many false positives–to justify continuing recommending them. 

This article in this morning’s New York Times reported on skeptical reactions to the news–and many women saying that they would simply ignore the recommendations and continue to take preventative screening measures in their own bodies.

Fresh Living readers, what do you think?  Are you skeptical?  Relieved to get a 10-year free pass on mammograms?  Enraged at the idea of missing the chance to save even one life?  Tired of a preventative test-happy health care system?  Looking forward to your comments.

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