Hadassah: Start Annual Breast Exams at 40
Jewish women’s group doesn’t accept new, relaxed federal guidelines
Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, announced earlier this week that they’re siding with the Susan G. Komen breast-cancer awareness organization and telling women to keep getting annual mammograms starting at 40—not at 50, and only every other year, as a federally funded task force recommended last week. Valerie Lowenstein, Hadassah’s national chair for women’s health and wellness, told Tablet Magazine the decision was basically a no-brainer. “There really wasn’t a debate,” she said yesterday afternoon. “It’s just something we’ve been educating women about for the past 16 years, and it’s something Hadassah stands behind.” It’s probably relevant to note that Komen—whose head, Nancy Brinker, held a press conference on Monday to say how outrageous she found the panel’s recommendations—has given Hadassah about $335,000 in grants for breast-cancer awareness. And also, as the Jewish Telegraphic Agency helpfully noted, that Ashkenazi Jewish women are about five times likelier than everyone else to have the genetic abnormality that can lead to breast cancer.