Mammography Petition Tops 1,400 Signatures

June 3, 2015

An online petition calling for Minister of Health, Seniors & Environment Jeanne Atherden to reconsider “the proposed legislation, Health Insurance [Miscellaneous] Amendment Act 2015 regarding Mammography coverage” has gained more than 1,400 signatures.

The petition says, “As the daughter of a Breast Cancer survivor who was diagnosed at 40, I cannot imagine the life I would have lived had my mothers cancer not been diagnosed at an early stage due to a routine mammogram.

“She would not have seen 50, the new proposed age for regular mammogram screenings with this new amendment. An overwhelming 25% of women diagnosed with Breast cancer in Bermuda each year are between 40-49.

“One of the best chances at saving lives of women, mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, is early detection. So many women have a real opportunity to beat this disease because of yearly mammograms.

“Please reconsider passing legislation that could mean the difference between life and death for many women, if they are not given the coverage to seek early detection measures that could save them.”

Links to related coverage:

The petition is also encouraging people to support “Bras for a Cause”, saying: “This Thursday evening starting at 6:00pm, hang your bra in support of early detection saving lives. Bermuda let’s unite as a Nation!

“Join the cause to oppose the proposed health legislation guidelines on Mammograms. Join women and men around the island in a silent protest by hanging bras around the Cabinet Grounds. Show the house representatives [both OBA and PLP] we do not agree with these new proposed changes.

“We are asking them to ‘Vote No!’ or at least allow for further consultation. Let your bras do the talking! Hope to see as many able to support as possible!”

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Comments (23)

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  1. Mockingjay says:

    Taking it to another level on Breast Gate.

    • Self says:

      You know, sometimes I support your comments- no matter how offbeat and quirky they may be.
      In this case, you would best remain silent. This is a serious matter.

    • BETTTY says:

      Please Everyone sign the online Petition. WOMEN SHOULD HAVE A CHOICE. EARLY DETECTION SAVES LIVES.

      • @ Betty and all others. As mentioned, there is no way KEMH / doctors can deny a patient treatment if their doctor recommends they have it…But, if they did not recommend treatment then the patient will still be able to have tests performed but at their own expense e.g. not having their insurance companies “support” / backing.

      • lucky 7 says:

        I’d rather sign the petition than hang a bra in town. Soooo trashy. We can prove our point another way. It’s tourist season, no one wants to see lingerie hanging all over the place. Disgusting.

        • Whoever hangs their/a bra on the Government property, (Cabinet Grounds) need to be issued a citation. As mentioned above,”Soooo trashy. We can prove our point another way. It’s tourist season, no one wants to see lingerie hanging all over the place. Disgusting.”

        • Mockingjay says:

          The tourist might participate, they do worse when they protest in their countries.

    • PBanks says:

      Guess it was only a matter of time before the “Gate” suffix got applied to this issue

    • Catch says:

      Mockingjay, Your are consistently the biggest ahole on this forum. I hope you think your comments are funny when your mother, daughter, aunt, niece, grandmother, sister or some other woman in your family says to you, “I have BreastCancer”.

  2. Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

    Well, this should be an interesting demonstration.

    While I appreciate the concerns of those who support the petition and action and understand it’s a very emotional issue, I’m concerned they don’t fully understand/appreciate the information behind and in this legislation.

    Yes, I’m a woman. Yes, I have breasts. Yes, I have been going in yearly for mammograms and do monthly self checks. No, I am not considered high risk. Yes, I would be very concerned if anyone who was high risk was refused yearly exams, but that’s not the case here.

    • clearasmud says:

      @Rhonnie you are concerned they the petitioners dont fully understand the information and you assume that you do! I hope you understand that this legislation is proposing to adopt guidelines that are not yet accepted in the US! If this task force has been unable to convince their own health industry why are we rushing to adopt these recommendations. Since you understand perhaps you can help me to understand too.

      • Double D says:

        What about all the other jurisdictions that have adopted the proposed regulations? Why are you focusing just on the USA?

      • X says:

        The US healthcare system is the reason we have an almost bankrupt system here. Theirs are not the guidelines we should be following. Yes it is about screening to save lives, but there has been ample studies to prove that screening at 40 does not save lives. The UK have always screened starting at 50 and have less deaths than US per capita … It may increase survivorship, from say 5 to 8 years, but that may mean that the patient just knew about their cancer 3 years earlier … there are many variables. The Bermuda health board has not done this lightly and without much research.

      • Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

        Yes, I believe I do understand the information regarding this issue. And Yes I’m concerned that the petitioners don’t fully understand it. You’re point? People are entitled to differing opinions and to express them, preferably respectfully.

        Believe it or not, the US is not the be all and end all of medical research, legislation and practice. There are other developed countries that have adopted the plan that is looking to be legislated. Australia is one. The UK another. Also the professionals who promote this standard are not any less educated, informed or concerned about women’s health than those who make the final decisions on US standards. Besides standards change and it does take a while for them to be changed.

        As for convincing you? I’m not a medical professional and I could not give you all the information available out there that explains why the two year plan is more advantageous from a medical standpoint. The thing is, even if I could, it’s doubtful you’d believe me. I’m a stranger…. do your own research. From sources you trust. That is the only way you’ll garner enough information to make an informed decision.

        Now, if you’ve already done that and your opinion differs from mine. That’s fine. My only concern, as expressed, is that people too often respond emotionally without doing the information seeking.

  3. Cow Polly says:

    So not as many as for Gay Marriage which garnered 2,500. Will be interesting to note how Government handle this if they want to be seen bowing to the will of the people.

    • Staffernee says:

      Governments serve the people. You’d think “bowing to the will of the people” is just part of the job description.

  4. Bermuda’s two oncologists support the recommendation. In addition, the ’50-plus’ guideline is supported by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care, the Canadian Cancer Society, the National Clinical Guidelines Centre [UK], the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence [UK], and various medical Royal Colleges.
    “The guideline is also recommended by the Nordic Cochrane Centre, an independent research centre which has published more research on mammography screening than any other independent institution; you can see their leaflet online [PDF here].”
    Are any other countries implementing these guidelines? The US is not always right.
    “Canada, Australia and England all have similar guidelines recommending screening from age 50. Other European countries do so also. The more progressive are considering abandoning some screening programmes that have not proven to improve health or reduce deaths.
    “For example, a large Danish study found that two regions had similar drops in breast cancer mortality over the same period despite one having no screening programme at all. The mortality drops were due to improved treatment and access to it.”

    • Kangoocar says:

      Thank you Raymond for once again presenting the real facts!!! To all those that still oppose this ( for obvious political reasons of course?? ) Don’t let me ever catch you on these blogs complaining about health insurance costs!!!

  5. Serious Though says:

    Can politicians stop being Doctors!

    Acting like US GOP party ,

    All MP’s vote NO !
    Don’t’ legislate guidelines …never

    Create Jobs , job, jobs legistration !

  6. X says:

    The US healthcare system is the reason we have an almost bankrupt system here. Theirs are not the guidelines we should be following. Yes it is about screening to save lives, but there has been ample studies to prove that screening at 40 does not save lives. The UK have always screened starting at 50 and have less deaths than US per capita … It may increase survivorship, from say 5 to 8 years, but that may mean that the patient just knew about their cancer 3 years earlier … there are many variables. The Bermuda health board has not done this lightly and without much research.

  7. A thought for today:
    “If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you’ve got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is full of inconveniences. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat, and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the real difference.”-Robert Fulghum, author (b. 4 Jun 1937)

  8. Just a matter of time says:

    @Kangoocar “…To all those that still oppose this ( for obvious political reasons of course??.. )”

    Seriously? I have tried to hold off commenting but I will anyway. You’ve said some unbelievably insensitive comments on this board but this by far takes the cake. I am a PLP supporter and my sentiments would be exactly the same if this were a PLP Health Minister. The signatures on that petition crossed all party lines. It’s about the health of a woman at the end of the day in case you missed it.