Despite a controversial set of breast exam recommendations issued this month by a government task force, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius says that HHS "policies remain unchanged."
In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Sebelius said the report from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force only demonstrates "that there is a great need for more evidence, more research and more scientific innovation to help women prevent, detect, and fight breast cancer."
The USPTF recommendations challenged common practices in a woman's fight against breast cancer, such as mammograms for those in their forties. There is, the study said, "a greater absolute reduction for women aged 50 to 74 years than for women aged 40 to 49 years," and warned against "harms resulting from screening for breast cancer" including "unnecessary imaging tests and biopsies in women without cancer." Because of that, the panel was recommending that mammograms were not required for women under age 50, and only every other year for those women in their fifties.
But Sebelius advised women, "Keep doing what you have been doing," and added, "talk to your doctor about your individual history, ask questions, and make the decision that is right for you."