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Pink ribbons: Play hardball!

Breasts and Balls
By MARY ANN SORRENTINO  |  November 25, 2009

In ancient times, men appeased the gods by tossing female virgins into volcanoes and families left their newborn daughters on hillsides to die since girls were less "valuable" than boys.

Yes, women have historically been disposable.

We got the right to vote here only 90 years ago. We are excluded from combat though hundreds of us have been blown up alongside men in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now they tell us that if only two mammograms out of every seven show cancer, that is not enough to justify the cost of the other five tests. It is cheaper (and better public policy, apparently) to let two women die since five others will live anyway.

To further justify the absurd new mammogram guidelines, we are told that mammography heightens the anxiety of women waiting for test results. Breast self-exams — previously prescribed monthly, and cost-free — aren't worth doing either, they say.

(Do these people realize how our anxiety — and our blood pressure — escalate when they make such stupid statements?)

We have only 13 female senators and 61 congresswomen — not enough breasts in power to tackle the male majority who often think with body parts other than their brains (when they aren't thinking with their wallets.) So how can we make that majority understand how discriminatory and patronizing the recent mammogram debate is?

I say hit 'em where it hurts!

Men seek and receive far more prostate cancer screenings than tests for colonorectal cancer, though the latter is more lethal and more accurately diagnosable. (This may show how valued one body part is over another.) The Mayo Clinic admits on its Web site that the value of prostate testing is still debatable. The Gaia Family Health site goes even further saying prostate tests actually may do more harm than good:

Prostate cancer strikes fear into the hearts of men. The medical establishment has fanned this fear, using it to push their profitable tests and treatments — in spite of precious little genuine information to document any significant benefit for these invasions. Now, there's finally been a look at the issue by mainstream medicine — with predictable results: Prostate cancer tests are harmful. They detect cancers that aren't there. They detect cancers that will cause no health problems. They miss cancers that are aggressive; in fact, these are the ones most likely to be missed! They result in health and life damaging treatments. They do not improve life expectancy.

Despite all this, no advice from the heights of government to limit prostate testing in men (or testicular self-exams and screenings either, though both are vastly underutilized, on the one hand, and grossly questionable on the other.)

All the new breast cancer guidelines do is give health insurers license to cut coverage of preventive services to women. Perhaps this is a bone being tossed to gluttonous insurance companies as compensation for the few bucks they may lose if a national health plan passes. (Don't hold your breath: remember, many vote from their wallets.)

Finally, will "pro-lifers" and bishops concerned about the fate of the "unborn" in the national health plan rise now to protect living, breathing adult women with breasts for newborns to suckle?

Or will women remain "disposable?"

  Topics: This Just In , Politics, Health and Fitness, Domestic Policy,  More more >
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ARTICLES BY MARY ANN SORRENTINO
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