Monday, November 23, 2009

Is it just me.....

...or are there other women out there that wish the media would stop showing pictures of women getting mammograms any time there is a story about breast cancer?

Last Saturday The Dallas Morning News had a story about the controversy over the new guidelines for when women should start having mammograms and how often the procedure should be repeated. That was the lead story, above the fold, with a large picture of a half naked woman about to have the test.

That was what greeted me with my morning coffee. The night before on the evening news, I got to see a different woman about to get her test, as I have every evening since the screening debate started this past week.

As kind of a side note, I think the media is making way too much of the "to test or not to test" issue. Numerous "experts" say that women are now confused as to whether they should have the test. What women? Ladies, are you confused? I'm not.

But my point today is why do we always have to see a woman in the midst of the test on every news broadcast. Surely there are ways to talk about breast cancer screening without showing half-naked women about to get a part of their body smashed in a machine. The media talks about prostate cancer screening without showing a man getting..... well, you get the picture.

7 comments:

Helen Ginger said...

I'm sort of on the opposite side, Maryann. I think they should show it. And I mean it. They should show that gosh-awful machine smashing the woman's breast while she tries to maintain an upright, twisted position. They should show it from the front, not from a behind draped position. Then they should announce that doing this is the best way to look for cancer and other problems, announce that this procedure will become the standard for searching for prostate cancer and show a man getting an xray done with the machine positioned lower.

I guarandamntee you they'd come up with a different way to look for cancer.

Helen
Straight From Hel

LK Hunsaker said...

Laughing at Helen!

But I agree ... any excuse to show a half naked woman, they'll grab on to. *sigh* I don't want to see it, either.

And I'm also not confused. I think 40 is too young unless there's a history. The radiation involved can't be good for us, either. I think most of us can use our judgment pretty well.

How about cancer sniffing dogs? That's been proven pretty effective, and heck, dogs aren't shy about sniffing. At least we'd be able to stay covered and not go through that pain of the smashing machine.

Maryann Miller said...

OMG, Helen. I wish you wouldn't hold back like that. LOL

I am reading a book for review written by a breast cancer survivor, Cheryl Swanson, and in it she quotes a study done several years ago that questions whether yearly mammograms are necessary, especially for women under 50.

With all the advances in science and medicine, I wonder why there is not a blood test for breast cancer like there is for other types.

Janalyn Voigt (WaySinger) said...

It hurts to think about it. Ouch.

LINDA M. FAULKNER said...

I agree with all of you!

Kathleen Eagle posted a similar topic on her blog, Riding with the Top Down and got a real rousing response. You might be interested in it:
http://ridingwiththetopdown.blogspot.com/2009/11/kathleens-talking-boobs-seriously.html

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for pointing out Kathleen's blog about this, Linda. I will have to check it out.

Obviously, this is a topic that we all have strong opinions about. I remember one friend saying the mammogram machine must have been invented by a man, the same way bras were. I never fact-checked her comment to see if it was true. She was a bit of a radical feminist, so I took her comment with a grain of salt.

LuAnn said...

Who is doing the reports? I've written several articles about screening for breast cancer -- the lastest just a few weeks ago. I've never shown a woman actually getting the test. The last picture I took, the technician was standing beside the machine. I agree, though. Do we really need to always show someone getting the test. And why can't they come up with a different way to be screened. What about an ultrasound? I tend to get cysts and when they show up on my mammogram, which is just about every time I have one done, they then turn around and do an ultrasound to see what they are.