Budget cuts to breast cancer program wider than expected

Leaving many eligible women and those formerly eligible without a place to turn , the State budget cuts to a breast cancer screening program for low income women have forced some mammogram providers to shutter clinics and idle mobile units. It may be noted that the changes are intended to reduce the number of mammogram recipients to 259,000 this fiscal year from lat year 311,000. California, the only state that has adjusted its mammogram rule on age since the federal recommendation was issued, the lawmakers have made deep cuts to many programs over the past few years however still face a projected $20 billion shortfall through June 2011.

Deborah Wright, President of Mobile Mammography Screening said “We require 20 patients to go out and since this program has been cut, we haven't been able to come up with the patients. It's been very severe. Rural screenings have been repeatedly canceled in remote and medically underserved areas like Calexico and El Centro, "so that basically no women received service in those areas. Some of these women are not legal, but they work with us and they're women we live with. This will certainly result in some early mortality. The researchers have found five spots on the human genome linked to a family history of breast cancer.

Dr Douglas Easton of the University of Cambridge, who is the lead author of the study, said “We know for sure that these gene variations are associated with risk. It is not the whole picture but it will contribute ultimately to genetic profiling of risk. It also contributes to our understanding of why the disease develops and will lead to a better understanding of the biology of the disease.” while De Helen George , head of science information at Cancer Research , UK , said “This research takes us a step closer to developing a powerful genetic test for the disease. Such a test could help doctors identify women who have an increased breast cancer risk so that they can make informed decisions about how to take steps to reduce their chance of developing the disease”.