Harrisburg, June 29, 2010 – – The state Senate has unanimously adopted state Sen. Larry Farnese’s (D-Philadelphia) resolution urging the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to reexamine its recommendations on mammograms for women beginning at 40 years of age.

“The issue of cancer prevention is one that is very personal to me and my family as cancer treatments and procedures are the reasons my father is here today,” Farnese said. “This is why I introduced this resolution.”

A recent study by the Task Force stated in its recommendations that women in their 40s do not need a mammogram and that self-examinations hold no value.

“As we all know, our elected officials in Washington, D.C., have recently passed sweeping reforms in healthcare management,” Farnese said. “While much change was needed, one thing we cannot afford is to have services taken away from individuals. This is what concerns me most about the task force’s recommendations.”

Farnese said that given the fact that breast cancer is the leading cause of death in Pennsylvania for women between 25 and 54 years of age and the chances of a woman developing breast cancer is 1 in 8 (12 percent) makes the task force recommendations troubling to him.

“These numbers are alarming,” Farnese said. “They are also a strong indication that we should not jeopardize funding for a critical test needed for early detection of this deadly disease.”

Farnese added that nearly all breast cancers can be treated successfully if found early. When breast cancer is found at the earliest stage, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.

“The purpose of making changes to the structure and system of health care in the United States is to provide the necessary resources to patients, not to take away care and services,” Farnese added. “I strongly urge the task force to take into account the importance of prevention and the fact that life-saving benefits of mammograms far outweigh the negatives and therefore should not be limited by age.”

The bipartisan resolution was sent to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

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