Tag Archives: mammograms

MSK Guidelines Won’t Change: Average-Risk Women Should Start Mammograms at Age 40

“Women’s confusion over when to start breast cancer screening just continues to grow,” says Memorial Sloan Kettering Breast Imaging Chief Elizabeth Morris in response to the release of new guidelines by the American Cancer Society (ACS) on October 20.
MSK Breast Imaging Chief Elizabeth Morris helps a patient through her first digital mammogram. Most mammograms today are done with units such as this one, which generate much more vivid and precise pictures than older film screening technology can.
The ACS recommendations have ignited controversy and left countless women yet again wondering, Am I doing the right thing?
“The bottom line — and what …


My Story -Testing for the Breast Cancer Gene

Angelina Jolie decision to share her story about being tested for the breast cancer gene and undergoing a double mastectomy is major and will help so many men and women.  It is incredible that as such a public figure, she was able to keep her story private until she wanted to share it with the world.
Shared it now is!
Since writing her story on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times, every newspaper, news cast and social media is abuzz with her story. Her honesty and truthfulness will help many make a very tough decision.
Here is my story about how …


Mammograms Do Catch Earlier Stage Breast Cancers

Will we ever get past the fallout and problems related to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF) revised guidelines, issued a few years ago?
You know the ones; the ones suggesting that women 40-49 discuss the risks and benefits of having annual mammograms with their doctors and then deciding whether or not to have annual screenings.
Being told that annual mammograms might not be necessary until 50 is all some women in the 40-49 year range have to hear to give themselves permission to skip out on the anxiety and discomfort of annual mammograms.
Despite this report by USPSTF, the American Cancer …


A Mother’s Day Gift

This Mother’s Day, give the gift of the mammogram nag.
Reach out to those mothers and grandmothers that you know haven’t been getting annual mammograms and remind them that it is time for them to get that mammogram they have been putting off for so long.
You will hear the usual excuses for not getting a mammogram:

Too busy…no woman is so busy that she can’t take a half hour to have a life-saving screening
Can’t afford it…Call local Departments of Health for sites that offer free mammograms
Afraid of the outcome…most of us are afraid, but we are more afraid of having breast cancer
It …


The Cost of Mammograms is Not Always the Issue

Those of us who get annual mammograms want to believe that those who don’t are uninsured and cannot afford the out-of-pocket cost of paying for one.
Not true said researchers in a report to the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in December 2010.
According to the research report, about half of the women whose insurance pays for mammograms get annual screenings. Medical claims from more than 1.5 million women aged 40 and older showed that only 50% of the women had annual mammograms in the years 2006 to 2009.
Breaking out these statistics by age group, researchers reported that among women 40 to …


Boobs in the Tubes: My Upcoming MRI

That’s what I call my annual breast MRI: Boobs in the Tubes. I will be going for my fifth breast MRI next Monday. For anyone who isn’t familiar, patients having breast MRIs have to lie face down on the table with their breasts in these cylinder-type containers. It’s completely painless, but some people experience claustrophobia, as is common with many MRIs. Luckily, I don’t get claustrophobic at all – I am more worried about the IV in my arm. I have to have contrast dye with my MRIs, so my arms are extended out over my head Superman style for …


Fitting In

Fitting in is something most of us have struggled with at one time or another, whether on the school playground, with a new group of friends, or the sales conference at work. My greatest challenge to fit in has been with the breast cancer survivor community.
Being a 28-year old with breast cancer is certainly not the norm, but it’s my norm. When I started going to my appts at Mass General, I was always the youngest patient in the waiting room by a large margin. When my mother would take me to my appts, the nurses mistook her for the …


Myths and Facts About Breast Cancer

During my years as a patient navigator, I met and spoke with several hundred women and a few men with breast cancer. Sometimes we met immediately after the doctor had shared a breast cancer diagnosis. Others I met privately with  in  the chemo or radiation waiting areas. Being a survivor gave me instant credibility. Even the most resistive to talking would eventually open up because they wanted reassurance from someone who had “been there.”
Time and again patients would share what they believed about breast cancer. Some of these myths kept them from getting medical care when their cancers were small. …


First Person – Marjorie Cotton Supple

First Person
Marjorie Cotton Supple
Breast cancer survivor offers wisdom at Faulkner satellite center

After successful treatment at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center at Faulkner Hospital, Marjorie Cotton Supple joined the Patient Family Advisory Council to support others going through cancer treatment.

My breast cancer journey began two years ago. Looking back on my diagnosis, my first thought was: Why me?
How could this be, I wondered, when I had been feeling great and on top of the world?

Tags: chemotherapy, Dana-Farber/Brigham & Women's Cancer Center, Faulkner Hospital, Featured, mammograms, radiation


Half of Insured Women Skip Annual Mammograms

Conflicting Breast Screening Guidelines May Be Partly to Blame, Researchers Say
By Charlene Laino
WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD
Dec. 9, 2010 (San Antonio) — Only about half of women whose insurance pays for mammograms go in for annual breast screenings, researchers report.
A review of medical claims from more than 1.5 million women aged 40 and older showed that only 50% had an annual mammogram in the years 2006 to 2009.
Among women aged 40 to 49, 47% had an annual mammogram. For women aged 50 to 64 and 65 and older, the …