As a breast cancer survivor, I take issue with your Feb. 13 article “Canadian study adds doubt to value of mammograms; Test or no test, death rates found to be about same.”
In 2010, I was diagnosed, through a routine screening, with Stage 1 invasive ductal breast cancer. Even after I knew where the tumor was, it was not detectable by a manual breast exam because of its small size and location. I was able to have a lumpectomy and radiation.
If I had not had the screening mammogram, by the time it was detectable it would have been much larger, it may have invaded the lymph nodes, and I may have needed a mastectomy and chemotherapy.
For researchers to look only at death rates when they consider the value of mammograms is short-sighted, and unfair to this important issue of women’s health.
Despite study, tests urged
Women who question the value of screening mammography based on a recent study should look more closely at the data.
Medical societies and breast cancer specialists across the United States agree that the data are flawed and misleading. Screening mammography saves lives.
More than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. Mammograms aren’t perfect, but they are still the best tool we have to find cancers early, when patients have the most options for treatment.
My colleagues and I stand behind the American Cancer Society’s recommendation that women age 40 or older have a screening mammogram every year. Our goal is to eradicate our patients’ breast cancer, but we also want to alleviate the anxiety that comes with a breast cancer diagnosis through knowledge and a comprehensive care plan that fits each patient’s specific needs.
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, but the disease is highly treatable when it is caught early.
I urge women to talk to their doctors about screening mammography, and to understand their family medical history and personal risk for breast cancer.
DR. MITVA PATEL
Breast Radiologist Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Columbus
Clean in D.C.? Try Columbus
The writer of the Jan. 25 Readers’ Forum letter “Small businesses getting slammed” said: “Ohio borrowed from the federal unemployment fund and did not pay the money back.” He said voters should clean house in Washington.
Why clean house in Washington and not Columbus? Columbus borrowed the money.
BRENDA BRIGHT HAGMAN