Breast cancer survivor livid over federal recommendations

Cathy Holloran
Cathy Holloran

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY (FOX19)  - Many "pretty in pink" breast cancer survivors are seeing red.

They say they're livid about a federal report that recommends women in their 40's do not start to get routine mammograms.
More than 200,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. That's why some local critics say the country can't afford to ignore the life-saving tool.
Highland Heights mother Cathy Halloran says a mammogram is the only reason she's alive today.
"I could have been dead," Halloran said. "I was 46 years old. I would be dead."
Halloran said she couldn't believe that Uncle Sam is now telling women between 40 and 50 years old to skip routine mammograms. But the government said since the announcement on Monday, there's been a lot of confusion.
"The task force has not recommended no screening from 40 to 49 for women," said Lucy Marion, PhD, RN of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. "They have recommended not to start the routine exams, the screenings, rather that they start the conversation with their clinician, be it a physician, nurse practitioner, physicians assistant about when to start."
But Halloran disagrees.
"Talk is cheap," she said.
Halloran was diagnosed back in 2001. She's now lived eight years cancer free, and she makes the most of each year. She runs a non-profit called "Chicks and Chucks." Her goal is to spread awareness and raise money for breast cancer research to keep more women alive.
Halloran said she also now worries this new federal recommendation could result in some insurance companies denying coverage for annual exams. Wednesday, the Health and Human Services Secretary said that's not the case, but one local doctor isn't so sure.
"Hopefully, there will such a public outcry that insurance companies will still continue to cover these services, but we really don't know," said Dr. Deborah Rouse-Raines.
Halloran said she plans to write all of her congressional leaders this week, and she isn't afraid to march right in on whoever will listen to her in Washington.
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