Did you know….
#1. Companies use celebrities to aggressively market 3D mammograms, although there’s no evidence they save lives.
In July 2016, Health News Review wrote:
“It may not be her favorite mistake, but it was a mistake nonetheless for the singer and breast cancer survivor Sheryl Crow to advocate in an aggressive, unbalanced way on behalf of a 3D mammography device.
That’s the takeaway of a number of breast cancer experts who’ve reviewed the content of the manufacturer-sponsored “education campaign” and Crow’s statements regarding breast cancer screening. They found blatant abuse of statistics and misleading guidance about the appropriate role of mammography screening in breast cancer prevention and treatment.”
Fast forward to Oct 18, 2019, USA Today: Massive marketing muscle pushes 3D mammograms, despite no evidence they save more lives, investigation shows
“Yet newer tech isn’t necessarily better – and it can cause harm, said Dr. Otis Brawley, a professor at John Hopkins University. “It’s unethical to push a product before you know it helps people,” he said.
#2. Celebrities influence public opinion
Prevention.com did a good job calling celebrity chef Sandra Lee in Why Getting A Mammogram May Cause More Trouble Than It’s Worth:
“After a routine mammogram found that she had stage 0 breast cancer, TV chef and cookbook author Sandra Lee started soap-boxing.
“I don’t care if my niece is only 23,” she said on Good Morning America when she revealed her diagnosis and her plan to get a double mastectomy. “Girls in their 20s and 30s just have to know. If you’re sitting at home right now watching this… get your rear end in there and get a mammogram right now.”
This is singularly bad advice. There’s little evidence that all women need a mammogram right now. If you’re a woman under 40, in fact, getting a mammogram is far more likely to harm your health than to help it. That’s largely true for women between 40 and 49 as well. “
The problem is not when a celebrity makes a personal decision to have extremely aggressive treatments, it’s when a celebrity goes public and gives medical advice on TV and gets a film produced about her opinion on early detection — and is invited to speak at conferences and events.
While it’s great that Sandra Lee is happy with her double mastectomies for her DCIS, celebrities should not be giving medical advice on major TV news programs — especially without giving an alternative, less aggressive approach and perspective for this controversial topic.
In 2015, Celebrity chef Sandra Lee was told by her doctors she was “a ticking time bomb. I was inspired to write a response: