Thursday, June 9. 2011
In November 2009, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) released its recommendations for breast cancer screening, which included directives to reduce the number of annual screenings for women under 50 and advised against teaching women to perform self-examinations.
However, private health insurance companies and federally funded insurers like Medicare have by and large ignored these directives and continued to provide coverage for yearly routine mammographies, according to Health Day.
Some are now suggesting that considerable backlash against the report posted to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter may have played a role in halting the healthcare changes.
Breast cancer survivors and healthcare professionals cited the importance of early detection in overcoming breast cancer as a main reason for disagreeing with the USPSTF and as they posted their thoughts online, created virtual lobbying groups and spoke to reporters, the health industry listened.
With Science Daily reporting that nearly 52 percent of all blog posts, newspaper articles and tweets were against the preventive measures, detractors were able to get their point across faster than they would have been able to in years past.
Perhaps the age of social media will herald a new era in healthcare where patients have a greater voice.
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