Chair Of Task Force Defends Guidelines For Mammograms

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The chairman of a task force that issued controversial recommendations for breast cancer screenings addressed a House subcommittee Wednesday, saying that costs did not influence the group's guidelines.

"Cost and cost-effectiveness are not addressed in our deliberations in making a recommendation," said Dr. Ned Calonge, the chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, in a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing.

"Over the past several years, we have discussed whether cost should ever influence a recommendation and we have repeatedly said no."

The guidelines, released on November 16, said that women in their 40s should not get routine mammograms for early detection of breast cancer.

For women ages 50 to 74, the task force recommends routine mammography screenings every two years.

The recommendations sparked an immediate outcry from cancer survivors.

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