from Auckland, had a screening mammogram at 40 years, which was completely
clear. Seventeen months later she
had her second mammogram, and at 41 years she was diagnosed with high grade
ductal carcinoma in situ, which had spread throughout her right breast.
Libby then had a mastectomy. Libby was lucky enough to have had her
diagnosis and treatment early enough to have avoided her cancer becoming
invasive. Libby had no family
history, it was her decision to start paying for her own mammogram from 40
years. Libby was educated enough to
know the benefits and had the ability to pay for it.
This is why the choice of opportunity has to be available to all women.
of the reasons given by those who argue against Breast Screening from 40 years,
is that there is a higher percentage of false negatives.
We know that Breast Cancer in a younger woman, like Libby Burgess, grows
aggressively and very rapidly. We
have no way of knowing, if her mammogram at age 40 was a false negative or not. However, if it was, this doesn’t argue against a Breast
Screening Programme of mammography from 40, in fact, quite the opposite.
It strongly emphasizes how important the necessity is for yearly
screening from 40 years, as opposed to every two years for women 50 years and