The Breast Diaries

New Video From Montclair Breast Center

April 16th, 2014

Patients speak on the benefits of personalized, humanized breast care.  Short video here:

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Montclair Breast Center Responds to Mammogram Controversy

February 14th, 2014

The physicians at Montclair Breast Center are extremely disappointed by the NY Times’ recent decision to run a front page article that cites an incredibly flawed study from the British Medical Journal as if it is actually legitimate science. The BMJ article is based on the deeply flawed and widely discredited Canadian National Breast Screening Study, which used a fundamentally corrupted allocation process for the two patient groups that were compared; it was also based on mammograms from the 1980’s that were of incredibly poor quality, even by the standards of…

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AMA Votes in Support of Screening Mammography Starting at 40

July 6th, 2012

This week, after much discussion, inquiry and debate, The House of Delegates of the American Medical Association (AMA) voted at the AMA 2012 Annual Meeting to support insurance coverage for screening mammography. The AMA further stated its belief that beginning at age 40 years, all women should be eligible for screening mammography. The AMA now joins the American Cancer Society, the American College of Ob/Gyn, the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Radiology, and other esteemed guideline-making professional groups in disagreeing with …

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How to Find a “Good” Breast Imaging Center

April 17th, 2012

I’ve received several inquiries from women living in various regions of the country, asking how they should choose where to go for their mammogram, and if it really matters.  I cannot emphasize this enough:  It matters! Here are a few tips to help your search:

  1. The most basic requirement is whether a facility is accredited under the MQSA (Mammography Quality Standards Act).  The accrediting body for most states is the ACR (American College of Radiology), which has a list of requirements and tests that facilities must comply with in order for the centers to achieve
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A Minute Well Spent: Sign up for a (Free) Mammogram Reminder

April 3rd, 2012

A woman in her 40’s feels an odd thickening in her breast one day while taking a shower.  She calls her doctor, who immediately refers her to a radiology practice for a diagnostic mammogram and sonogram.  The patient asks her doctor to check her chart and tell her when she had her last screening mammogram; she thinks it was maybe just over a year ago.  Her life is extremely busy, and with four children ranging in ages from 5 to 17, she’s not always able to keep track of her own medical appointments.  The doctor tells her that her last mammogram was actually 20 …

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8 Reasons to Choose the Needle If You Need a Breast Biopsy

March 14th, 2012

While killing time in foils under the dryer at my favorite hair salon, I was flipping through the October 2011 issue of Vogue and came across an interesting article, “Breast Check” by Elizabeth Weil.  Weil discusses the experience of her sister-in-law Kelly, who felt a lump in her breast that required a biopsy.  Kelly’s doctor performed an open surgical biopsy, and the results were benign (no cancer!).  Although relieved, the author wondered why Kelly was not sent to a radiologist for a needle biopsy (as in the example image above), and instead underwent…

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First, Do No Harm: The Spectacular Failure of a Government Panel

February 28th, 2012

As a veteran of World War II, my grandfather was a GI Bill success story, the first man to go to college from his impoverished neighborhood in Jersey City thanks to government at its finest.   A card-carrying member of the state teachers’ union, and a politically active Democrat for most of his life, it came as something of a shock to me when, after a few decades of observing big government debacles, my grandfather became one of Ronald Reagan’s most ardent fans.  I still remember his delight over the classic Reaganism, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language…

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Latest Post in the Atlantic

February 16th, 2012

Be sure to check out my full post in the Atlantic for some strategies for avoiding breast cancer.

I wear my seatbelt, get my flu shot, wash and sanitize my hands, wear sunscreen, scrub the fruits and veggies clean, look both ways when I cross the street, and never take candy from strangers. But what can I do to protect myself (and my family) from the single most common cause of death among women in my own age group, 35 to 50 years old? Here are a few evidence-based strategies to increase your odds of avoiding advanced breast cancer.

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Featured Expert for Talk About Health Forum

February 9th, 2012

I was asked to serve as the expert this week for Talk About Health‘s online forum. Follow the link for my answers to questions regarding early detection, lowering risk for breast cancer, needle biopsies, preparing for a mammogram and more.…

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Lobbying the FDA to Mandate Breast Density Notification

February 8th, 2012

In November I traveled to DC to issue a statement to the FDA advisory committee regarding breast density.  Several radiologists, breast cancer patients and advocates, representatives from the American College of Radiology, as well as Karen Handel from the Susan G. Komen foundation were on hand to render opinions regarding a new rule being considered by the FDA, which would mandate the inclusion of breast density information in the official mammogram report that goes to the referring doctor, and that the radiology facility providing a mammogram would directly…

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