October 26, 1997 in Nation/World

Clinton Tightens Rules For Breast-Cancer Clinics President, First Lady Use Radio Address To Urge Screening Tests

John Mintz Washington Post
 

President Clinton Saturday unveiled final regulations that require breast-cancer detection clinics to use up-to-date mammogram machinery, improve the training of their personnel and keep proper records.

The president and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton used his Saturday radio address to urge women to seek the cancer screening tests because, in his words, “mammograms are available, effective and safe.”

Congress passed a law in 1992 requiring federal certification for equipment and personnel performing mammograms.

Temporary regulations have enforced that law for more than a year, but the rules announced by Clinton Saturday tighten those regulations by establishing Food and Drug Administration inspection schedules and training requirements for the X-ray technicians and readers.

“When women do go for a mammogram, we must make sure they receive the highest quality care,” Clinton said. “High-quality mammograms can detect the vast majority of breast tumors, and when followed by prompt treatment can reduce the risk of death by as much as 30 percent.”

Hillary Clinton, who has frequently spoken out on the need for regular mammograms, praised a federal program that seeks to persuade older Hispanic and African American women to have the tests.

“Mammography can mean the difference between life and death for millions of women,” said the first lady, who rarely has spoken during her husband’s radio time. “We must work even harder to reach women who, because of income, language or cultural barriers, are the least likely to get mammograms.”


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