Teresa Heinz, Fighting Cancer, Urges Mammograms
Heinz says under-50s should continue annual mammograms
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2009 5:39 AM CST
Teresa Heinz is being treated for breast cancer discovered through mammography.    (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
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(Newser) – Teresa Heinz, wife of Sen. John Kerry, is being treated for breast cancer discovered in her annual mammogram. The 71-year-old will undergo radiation treatment next month to raise her chances of survival to 95%. Heinz says she believes younger women should continue getting annual mammograms, despite the US Preventive Services Task Force's recent recommendation that women start receiving mammograms at 50 instead of 40.

"Chemotherapy is serious. It also costs a lot of money. It's very painful. And it's very destructive of people's—most people's—lives for a while, anyway," Heinz tells the AP. "So why put people through that instead of just having a test that's done, and it's done?" Nurses where she was being treated were "livid" on learning of the panel's recommendation, Heinz says.