Monday, November 23, 2009

Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations

Women have learned two lessons: schedule an annual mammogram and perform breast self exam each month in the shower. That's why women of all ages--from my daughter to my mother--became alarmed and concerned last week when The US Preventive Services Task Force recommended changes in screening for breast cancer.

Just yesterday a cousin asked me what I had heard from Johns Hopkins physicians. I was able to share a statement from Dr. Nagi Khouri, director of breast imaging, and Lillie Shockney, a breast cancer survivor and administrative director of the Avon Breast Center at Johns Hopkins. You too will be interested in reading their comments:

The Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center remains committed to caring for the screening needs of women at every age. We tailor our prevention services to each individual, and decisions on routine screening are made between patients and their physicians. The study released by the United States Preventive Services Task Force will not change current practices at Johns Hopkins. We will maintain our recommendations that routine screening for women at average risk for cancer occurs annually from 40 years of age through 80, when it can be altered at that point. We also feel it is important to continue educating women about their bodies including the normal contours of the breast to promote awareness of breast health. We believe that when women are armed with knowledge about their breasts, they are more likely to report changes to their physician. Again, please continue to schedule your mammograms annually, check your breasts, and let your physician know when changes occur.


Nagi Khouri, M.D. and Lillie Shockney, RN., BS., MAS
Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center

I have known too many women who have detected breast cancer through breast self exam and annual screening mammography. Each of them believes that these important screening tools improved their treatments outcome and, in some cases, saved their lives. I hope each of you will therefore heed the advise from Dr. Khouri and Lillie Shockney.


P.S. Listen to Johns Hopkins radiologist Dr. Nagi Khouri and breast surgeon Dr. Lisa Jacobs discuss breast imaging technologies and new management and operative strategies to improve the rate of breast preservation and cosmesis.

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