Sunday, November 22, 2009

So THAT'S why Sanjay Gupta refuses to become Surgeon General!

Remember when Obama told us that his new Surgeon General would be Sanjay Gupta the TV doc? And then it was nevermind.

Here's why Sanjay turned down the gig.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: About 75 to 90 percent of breast cancers are found in women who have absolutely no family history and no identifiable risk factors. If you are a woman hearing that at age 40, right now watching, 75 to 90 percent of breast cancers found with people who have no risk factors, no family history, what should they do?

LUCY MARION, PREVENTIVE SERVICES TASK FORCE: I would not recommend it. I would not make a recommendation. We’re saying that the benefits are small.

GUPTA: What do you mean by that? When you say the benefits are small? Let’s not beat around the bush here. What exactly are you trying to say?

MARION: We look at it in various ways. For example, we look at life years gained by the actual screening every year or every other year. And the life years gained for that group is not very large. There are some life years gained. But it’s not very large.

GUPTA: You’re a nurse and…

MARION: And I know…

GUPTA: I don’t want to, you know…


GUPTA: … dig ourselves into a whole [sic] here. You’re a nurse, you’re in a profession of healing and compassion.

Are you comfortable with what you’re saying right now? Because what you’re saying, what I’m hearing you say is that you’re saying some lives just aren’t worth it. We — that’s why we’re changing these screening recommendations. And that is an incredibly frightening thing to hear from someone like yourself.

Is that what you’re saying?

MARION: No, I’m not saying that some lives are worth it. I do not say that. But as you know, as a physician, there are many screening tests that could save lives but could create many other issues that we made decisions about.

GUPTA: So, really, the harm that you’re saying to women, the harm that you cite is that it could cause unnecessary anxiety and worry in women who get these mammograms, for example, if they have a false positive? Do you think that it would cause anxiety in women if they are told that look, 90 percent — up to 90 percent of women who develop breast cancer never had a risk factor and now you’re not sure if you have that breast cancer because you didn’t get the test? Don’t you think that causes anxiety as well?

MARION: Yes, we know that the biggest risk factor is age. And that’s clear. And so the other — and we know other risk factors and we know that many do not have known risk factors if you don’t include age.

The Obama plan to cheap out on womens' healthcare wasn't going to work for Gupta.

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