Former NIH chief: Ignore new mammogram guideline

AP News
Posted: Nov 22, 2009 9:43 AM

The former director of the National Institutes of Health is advising women to ignore new guidelines that delay the start of routine mammogram testing for breast cancer.

Dr. Bernadine Healy says the directive would save money but not lives.

The recommendation, released last week by an independent panel, recommends that women not routinely undergo mammograms until age 50. Longtime guidelines have said women should have regular mammogram screening after age 40.

Healy says that if the new guidelines are followed, more women will die of breast cancer.

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The independent panel, the Preventive Services Task Force, says its recommendations are based on accurate and up-to-date information.

Healy appeared on "Fox News Sunday."