Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Suck it, Dr. Love

I was trying my damndest to keep the ranting to a minimum, really. To write about things like boobs, and my recent trip to the alternate universe that is Moline, and all of the training I’ve been doing lately (in the form of visualization, of course). But this is too much to bear. Because yesterday the U.S. Task Force on Medical Asshattery came up with their new recommendations regarding women and mammograms, stating that there’s no point in doing them until you hit 50, and then only every 2 years. Apparently if you do routine screening starting at 40, that causes all sorts of anxiety for us poor dears, and stress that often turns out to be needless. Why, that’s time that could be better spent baking! Or cleaning the house until the man of the house gets home! Why worry your silly little heads about the fact that you could have cancer growing inside of you?

Especially since – according to the experts – they don’t know much about breast cancer tumors and how they grow, but most are slow-growing (except in young women) and they might go away by themselves (except in young women) and require minimal treatment if any (except in young women). Oh, and you young women? Well, those of you whose lives are saved by early detection, it’s really not worth the hassle that all these other poor womenfolk have to go through. Again, the worry! The inconvenience! Sure, maybe not as inconvenient as the ravages of Stage 4 cancer, which is what happens when it’s not caught in time, but still pretty gosh darn bad.

Let me repeat this point that they made: our lives are not worth saving. Period.

And the fact that this Task Force also recommends against breast self exams is where we start edging into conspiracy land theories. Because then they’re basically saying well, we won’t screen for breast cancer, and those pesky exams that might find a lump, they’ll cause anxiety too so don’t do those, so why don’t you just wait until you have a tumor that’s growing through your skin? You don’t mind, do you?

Yes, we fucking mind. I know many many women whose tumors were found via their first mammograms, or through BSEs, and they would not be here today if that weren’t the case. And the world would be a worse place for it. Just as we’re worse off because of all the women we have lost already, because their BC wasn’t found early enough. And covering your ass by saying oh, but of course women at high-risk should still get mammos? Hmm, no. 80% of BC is NOT hereditary.

One also has to wonder about the timing on this, if the government is actively trying to sabotage health care reform. Because you fucktards are doing a pretty good job of it even if that’s not your intent. Let’s see, we’re in the midst of debates over health care reform, and a government panel comes up with a recommendation that will, hmm, SAVE TONS OF MONEY. Not just the money from not doing all those mammograms, but also the money from not having to treat young BC survivors. Let’s face it, end-stage cancer isn’t cheap, but in most cases it’s relatively quick, so that’s certainly less expensive than treating women – especially young women – for years. And hey, if we’re all going to wind up at Stage 4 eventually, which is also the implication by their saying that when you find the cancer doesn’t really matter, then why not cut out all those oh-so-expensive middle years and just cut right to the chase? Live in ignorance, get diagnosed when it’s too late, and boom, go out in a blaze of Stage 4 glory. Sign me up!

And then there’s Dr. Susan Love, who was on GMA this morning yapping away, cutting off the doctor from the group, who like most of us does NOT agree with this bullshit. Dr. Love’s point seems to be “well, mammograms aren’t a great tool, so ech, let’s just forget the whole thing until we find something better. Like, say, the lavage method that I’ve patented but that isn’t quite ready yet – so you all just hang on until we get it right.” Oh, and it’s great that you’re talking about prevention too, but at the same time it’s too bad that you don’t know fuck-all about what actually causes breast cancer. Nothing about pesticides or carcinogens or any of the other things that might be causing so many young, otherwise healthy women to be getting BC. Beating the ol’ “exercise & nutrition” drum is getting a bit tiresome. But you know what, we’ll just sit over here and die quietly while you figure all that out.

I again turn to my dear friend and sister Jen Ernest for a summation on how most of us feel about this:

“Dr. Love can kiss my ass. I quit her fucking army and she can shove her pendant up her own ass.”

I’ve un-enlisted as well. Go find your cannon fodder elsewhere.


Deborah said...

Hi Tasha, I thought you'd be interested this, from a popular doc blogger:

Stay tuned, my team is covering this too. I'll send you links when the articles are ready.

D said...

Stupid. Not you. Well... yes you, but also all this stuff.

Don said...

Wondered how long you'd take to air on this .

UG said...

You are amazing. And I mean that in a good way.

Deborah said...

Here's a good blog post from the NY Times on the self-exam issue:

And here's my team's follow-up news story: