There is a pernicious aspect of this "expertise fallacy": once you understand that patient-level experience cannot provide useful information to assess screening, it becomes clear that clinical experience tends to provide misleading information. Among the many reasons for this:
After decades of educating the public about the importance of early detection, the new guidelines are indeed confusing and controversial. In the new guidelines, the recommended age for annual screening mammography was increased from age 40 to age 45 for women "of average risk for breast cancer."
We need to refocus our resources and attention on the two things that really matter: (1) stopping men and women from getting breast cancer in the first place -- primary prevention; and (2) preventing metastasis if they do.
When it comes to women's health, there are five health tests that have saved lives and helped improve the quality of life for millions of women, and yet are still underutilized, ignored or forgotten about.
The new task force recommendations on mammograms are not a blanket, one-size-fits-all prescription for every woman. Guidelines should never replace a dialogue with your own doctor that considers individual risk.