Sunday, December 27, 2009

Health Club Owners and the New Mammography Screening Recommendations

Just in case you've missed it, the health community has been in an uproar recently about breast cancer testing. Here's an example of what has been in the media lately:

"The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force stated, "There is convincing evidence that screening mammography reduces breast cancer mortality," but pointed out that there was a greater absolute benefit in women aged 50 to 74 years than for women aged 40 to 49. Because of the relatively small benefit for screening the younger age group, the task force recommended against routine screening for women between 40 and 49. It clearly stated that women at higher risk--because of family history or genetic predisposition, for example--should be screened at an earlier age. Subsequent to release of this report, many groups, including the American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology, promptly came out against the task force recommendations." (SOURCE:

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is recommending less screening for women between the ages of 40 and 49. The American Cancer Society (and other doctors) are NOT happy about this recommendation.

There's a fight here, and it's being fought in the media.

So how do you, as a gym owner, react to this very public argument? What do you say when a fitness center member asks for your opinion on this subject? What would you say if the local media asked your opinion?

Don't be scared! The media doesn't expect you to be an expert along the same lines as a physician or a cancer specialist. You are, however, working in the health and fitness field and you do need to have an opinion.

The team highly recommends that you do some research in this area and come up with an opinion (if you don't already have one). Pick a side and be able to explain how you made that decision!

Next, write an article explaining exactly why you feel the way you do. In other words, join the public 'argument' and make it clear that you've done your homework. For an example of an article like this, click here or cut and paste this link into your browser:

You can submit to the local media the article you've written, photocopy it and distribute it in the health club, or just file it under 'smart things I've done'. No matter what you do with the actual article, you're now ready to intelligently answer questions.

This makes you look like the local health expert that you are, which will bring you new health club members! Who knows? The article you write may even prompt someone to get a cancer screening, and you could end up saving a life!

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