Planned Parenthood Windfall Will Go to Mammography

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Planned Parenthood experienced a whirlwind of donations following the Komen Foundation controversy, and plans to put the money towards mammography, according to NPR.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure faced harsh criticism when it cut funding for Planned Parenthood earlier this year. The foundation reversed course but the damage was done, leading to fundraising issues for Komen, as well as a management shakeups.

Komen's decision to cut funding spurred donations to Planned Parenthood, raising more than $3 million in over four days, including a $250,000 donation from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Planned Parenthood said it plans to use the money to expand its services and education for breast health.

The funds will go towards annual mammograms of women over 40 and clinical breast exams in accordance to the 40 recommendation, which the ACR supports. There will be mammograms every three years for women between the ages of 20 and 30.

Planned Parenthood's screening expansion runs counter to some recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force, a group that provides advice on health care. While screening can find breast cancers early, testing also carries risks and costs. False alarms can lead to unnecessary biopsies. The task force recommends that screening mammograms start at 50 and continue until 74, and that mammograms should be done every other year instead of annually.

Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services for Planned Parenthood, said in an article by NPR that they were following the mammogram guidelines from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which recommends annual mammograms. Nucatola said Planned Parenthood believes the benefits to catching breast cancer early outweigh the risks.