The new breast cancer screening guidelines came first, with a recommendation to start regular mammograms a decade later than previously recommended, at age 50, and less often, at once every two years. Oh yeah, and they recommended that doctors should stop teaching women to self examine themselves on a regular basis.
Excuse me for the colloquialism of my generation, but – WTF?
The reason for these new guidelines being, of course, that the USPSTF’s research indicates that the benefits of cancer screening before the age of 50 do not outweigh the harms – that is, the anxiety and inconvenience regular testing gives women.
I’m sorry, is this implying that the anxiety caused by awaiting test results that reveal you may or may not have cancer is actually a greater harm than having undetected cancer itself?
And sorry, another question – would you rather examine your breasts yourself regularly, find a suspicious lump, see a doctor about it, and find out it was nothing? Or would you rather never examine your breasts yourself and when you see a doctor a year later, find out you have a malignant tumor in your breast? Which would cause you more anxiety, just out of curiosity? And would you have considered the first scenario an “inconvenience”?
Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in the world, but it is also one of the most treatable with early detection. To remove the possibility of early detection – even if statistics show that breast cancer is less likely to occur in women aged 40-49 – is completely ridiculous. Throwing the alleviation of anxiety idea out the window (which, by the way, is totally patronizing), what could possibly be the benefits of such a recommendation?
Look, I believe that women should revel in, appreciate, and never, ever be scared of or disgusted by their periods just as much as the next hairy feminist. I think the things I’ve written advocating the use of reusablemenstrual products attest to that.
However, do I feel that life without my period would be easier? Hell yes.
Some women take issue with the fact that newer forms of birth control are being marketed to reduce or eliminate completely the number of periods you get. I can certainly understand the resulting feelings of offense – if you are someone who greatly values your monthly menstrual cycle and feel it really empowers you as a woman, being told it’s not medically necessary may not make you feel great.
But women are not defined solely by their periods, and should not be judged by whether or not they have them. Plenty of women have irregular cycles that limit the number of periods they get in a year, and plenty of women don’t have the internal equipment necessary to generate menstrual blood. This doesn’t make them any less womanly or empowered.
So I guess my question is, why shouldn’t we get our periods?
The observations of the group of five adult whales and one calf not only reveal that sperm whales do, in fact, actively hunt and consume giant squid, but that they also possibly use these catches to train their babies to do the same.
The photographer, Tony Wu, said the whales kept diving in unison. “It seemed as if the adult whales were trying to teach the baby to dive and also to eat squid.”
My old buddy Steve O’Shea**, who is a passionate and devoted giant squid expert (and is likely peeing his pants over the discovery), confirms this and attests to the rareness of these photos.
Now, for a squid lover like me, of course a certain sadness accompanies these photos. I like to imagine the giant squid kicking the sperm whales ass, or at least putting up a hell of a fight (and who knows, maybe he did) but the reality is that giant squid are eaten by sperm whales all the time. Finding their beaks in the bellies of beached sperm whales is what helped to prove that they actually did exist and weren’t just mythical sea monsters for so long.
Cephaloblog is back and better than ever with a NEWLY REVAMPED posting schedule (as in, I WILL be posting). Every Sunday starting today, there will be a freshly inked (heh) post. So if you (used to) like what you read, come back for more, every week!
To kick off my first week back, since probably the least number of people will read this post considering my disappearance off the face of the blogosphere four months ago, I’ll take this opportunity to be a crazy cat lady.