If it becomes law, a bill currently sitting in Congress designed to increase breast cancer awareness and prevention among women aged 15 to 39 could lead to a significant jump in the number of screening exams. Whether these exams would be medically warranted or just motivated by fear, breast imagers say, is open to question. In March, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) introduced the Breast Cancer Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) Act of 2009. The law calls for $9 million in appropriations to finance education among premenopausal women and support for young victims of the disease. Act proponents argue the current approach, annual screening mammograms starting at age 40, promotes complacency among young women, some of whom discover the first symptoms of the condition at a much younger age.
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