Two studies conducted by researchers at the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent government-appointed panel, stated that women between the ages of 40 and 49 who have a mother or sister with breast cancer or who had very dense breasts were twice as likely to get the disease and that the benefits of getting a mammogram once every one to two years outweigh the risks. These studies were published in a recent issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
In 2009, the same task force recommended mammograms for women ages 50-75 and stated that it was not beneficial for women ages 40-49 to undergo annual mammograms, citing false positives and unnecessary biopsies. These recent studies have refuted these claims and are in line with recommendations by the American Cancer Society and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for women to be screened annually, beginning at age 40.
Breast Cancer Help, Inc. has been in the forefront in helping to ensure that women on Long Island have access to the most advanced diagnosis and treatment. The organization was responsible for the delivery of two of the three modules for the Novalis Laser Surgery Machine, which is used for the treatment of many types of cancer, at Stony Brook University Medical Center’s Radiation and Oncology Department. Breast Cancer Help, Inc. also paid for the lease of a digital mammography system at Stony Brook University Medical Center’s Cancer Center.
In addition, Breast Cancer Help, Inc. provided funding for a CADstream (Computer-Aided Detection) Magnetic Resonance Imaging reader at Stony Brook University Medical Center. In 2008, the organization received a grant from the state for a digital mammography system for Great South Bay Imaging Center in Islip.
“These studies have supported what I have been saying all along: that early detection is the best way right now to fight this insidious disease,” Ms. Pace said. “We urge all women that fall in the guidelines and women who are genetically predisposed to breast cancer to get an annual mammogram to determine if they also have the disease.”
For more information, please call (631) 675-9003 or visit www.breastcancerhelpinc.org.
Breast Cancer Help, Inc. is a not-for-profit grass roots organization with a focus on action and advocacy to eradicate breast cancer. Founded in 1994 by Lorraine Pace, a two time breast cancer survivor, and Father Thomas Arnao, Breast Cancer Help, Inc. uses a four pronged approach to promoting education and awareness of breast cancer issues. The first of these prongs is the West Islip breast cancer mapping project initiated by Lorraine Pace, which mobilized patients and pinpointed breast cancer clusters. This original mapping project, which spearheaded the breast cancer environmental movement, has now spread to other parts of New York, the U.S. and internationally. Since its inception, the group’s goal has been to raise awareness and promote education for the cause, treatment, and cure of the disease; while maintaining a focus on action and advocacy to eradicate breast cancer. It has accomplished this by mobilizing patients into coalitions leading to breast cancer mapping projects, serving as advocates to change state and local laws to protect breast cancer patients, and working to bring about positive changes in protecting the environment. Breast Cancer Help, Inc. has helped to ensure that Long Islanders have access to the best possible diagnosis and care through the purchase of cutting edge medical and research equipment. It has also supported research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In 2003, Breast Cancer Help opened its Long Island Cancer Help and Wellness Center, now located at 32 Park Avenue in Bay Shore to provide increased cancer awareness to promote education and early detection while providing patients and survivors with much needed support.