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Mammograms and politics: Task force stirs up a tempest

Washington Post, November 18, 2009

In 1997, a federal committee of medical experts recommended against routine mammograms for women in their 40s, sparking a political uproar that led to congressional hearings and a unanimous Senate vote challenging the findings, the Washington Post reports. Now, a similar drama is playing out around a different federal medical panel, which this week recommended against routine mammograms for women younger than 50. The findings underscore a decades-long debate in the medical community about the benefits and risks of routine breast cancer screening for younger women, the Post reports, and plunges the advisory panel into the middle of a strident Washington discussion about healthcare.