Report sought from Punjab on 'illegal' cancer tests

Chandigarh, Aug 14 : Following media reports that illegal mammography tests to detect cancer were conducted among young women in Punjab, the central government has sought a report from the state over the alleged violation of WHO norms.

Federal Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Santosh Chaudhary wrote to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal saying that it had been reported in a section of the media that mammography was conducted on young women, aged between 20-30 years, during 2010-12.

Chaudhary has sought a report on how mammography tests were conducted on young women.

"The WHO till 2010 had banned such a test on any women of less than 50 years of age and later this age was reduced to 40 years," the minister said.

Chaudhary said it was saddening that in Punjab 80 percent of the women tested were aged 20-30 years.

"It is said that mammography test, many a times, leads to cancer because its rays radiation are many times more powerful than X-Rays," an official spokesman, quoting the union minister, said Wednesday.

The screening was done by the Punjab health department in collaboration with NGOs to whom an amount of Rs.60 lakh was paid.

"Some reputed doctors have questioned the benefits of such an exercise," the federal minister said.

"It is a serious matter, as it has a direct bearing on the health of women. The state government is exposing girls to such tests which may lead to cancer," the minister said.

--IANS (Posted on 14-08-2013)

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