by Ellen Shaw de Paredes
Originally published in The Richmond Times Dispatch
Unfortunately, we again are facing more confusing news about the value of mammography. This is so troubling to me as a physician who specializes in breast imaging and as the physician who worked with the General Assembly and the American Cancer Society in 1986 to have screening mammograms covered for women throughout the commonwealth.
When I diagnose a small, early breast cancer on an annual mammogram, I know that the treatment options and prognosis are so much better for that woman than for a woman who presents with an advanced cancer and no prior mammography. As treatments have improved over the years, women with advanced cancer can be cured, but this is much more challenging.
What has really made the difference in breast cancer mortality statistics in the U.S. has been the widespread use of screening mammography….