From Iceland — Thousands Object To Raising Age Minimum For Breast Cancer Screening

Thousands Object To Raising Age Minimum For Breast Cancer Screening

Published January 13, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Wikimedia Commons

One of the many changes from the Ministry of Health which took effect this year was raising the age at which people are first asked to come in for a breast cancer screening from 40 to 50, Fréttablaðið reports.

There are not a small amount of people who feel this is far too late in life for screening to begin, and a petition calling for the minimum age to be kept at 40 and for cervical cancer screening to be done every three years instead of every five has already gathered over 31,000 signatures at the time of this writing.

Jónína Sæ­vars­dóttir, who started the petition, says that the changes the Ministry enacted could be life threatening. She says that many of her relations were diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 40, and so in her estimation that age minimum should even be lowered.

There is statistical analysis to back this up as well. From 2015 to 2019, 31 people on average aged 40 to 49 were diagnosed with breast cancer in Iceland each year, and about 50 die from it each year in this country.

The Cancer Society of Iceland has also objected to the Ministry’s changes, pointing out that European guidelines recommend screening begin between the ages of 45 and 49.

UPDATE, 16:28: The Ministry of Health has announced that they will delay this change to the law.

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