Not everyone has been pleased with the latest mammography screening recommendations, recently published by the American Cancer Society in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Proposed for women at average risk for breast cancer, they differ in certain details from the guidelines released in 2009 by the USPSTF. These differences have caused no end of heated discussion. Furthermore, the USPSTF is in the process of updating their 2009 guidelines. A draft of their revised guidelines was open to public comment through May of this year, and is now being finalized. A member of the USPSTF explained the rationale for this update in the Washington Post. Meanwhile, the ACS is planning to publish separate screening guidelines for high and intermediate risk women in 2016. Is it any wonder that women are more confused than ever about how and when to get screened for breast cancer?
Enter Madame Astra Zen-Acre. Recently, she and several other fortune tellers, psychics, witches, and assorted healers formed an organization dedicated to resolving this confusion once and for all. Their organization, called Infallible Diagnostic Knowingness, or IDK, was founded to make their services available at no charge to anyone who wants to avail themselves of a reliable, radiation-free screening method that can predict breast cancer years before anything shows up on a standard screening tool.
“Guidelines, schmidelines,” said Madame Astra in a recent interview. “We members of IDK can pick up cancerous emanations long before those foolish, low-tech machines. And we’ve been doing this for centuries.”
As for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or BCAM, Astra Zen-Acre is dismissive. “Awareness, my left foot,” she said. “We live and breathe true awareness, not some jumped-up marketing opportunity. Plus, they stole our acronym. We’ve had an initiative called BCAM for decades now. It stands for Be Cautious About Mammograms. As soon as they started pushing those damned, primitive machines in 1969, we knew they were trouble.”
Regarding the color pink, Madame Astra declared, “The only thing pink should be associated with is the heart chakra, which stands for love and healing. A pink mixer isn’t going to cure a blasted thing. We don’t even use them for our potions. Nothing beats a good, old-fashioned cauldron.”
When asked how women who are interested in a screening session could contact a member of IDK, Madame Astra laughed. “Oh, Honey,” she said, “we’ll contact you!”