An Ounce of Prevention….
By William F. Muhr, Jr., M.D.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I’m a big believer in that old axiom coined by Ben Franklin, although my spin on the quote is this: “Early detection saves lives … and prevents overtreatment. I see it every day.”
I find some women are just afraid to get a mammogram and either delay their screening or forego it altogether. I know early detection leads to better outcomes for patients.
I’ve written this blog for those women who get anxious about mammograms.
A new study confirms that many women with early-stage breast cancer can forego chemotherapy, along with its unpleasant and often detrimental side effects, and still beat the disease.
American Society of Clinical Oncology Study
The study, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2018 annual meeting, followed more than 10,000 women over ten years to assess whether hormone therapy alone was more or less effective than hormone therapy plus chemotherapy.
When patients enrolled in the trial, a biopsy sample was analyzed to determine a risk score for cancer recurrence. Women in the low-risk range received hormone therapy only; women in the high-risk range were treated with hormone therapy and chemotherapy. In the intermediate-risk range, half of the women received hormone therapy alone and half received hormone therapy with chemotherapy.
Nine years after treatment, the overall survival rate for both intermediate-risk groups was approximately 94 percent. The rate of survival with no signs of disease recurrence was also similar: 83.3 percent for those who’d undergone hormone therapy alone and 84.3 percent for women who’d had both treatments. This is not a statistically significant difference.
The results of this study will help patients, and their physicians make more informed treatment decisions. According to estimates, more than 70,000 women diagnosed annually in the U.S. can be treated with surgery and hormone therapy alone. The key, however, is early detection. Late stage disease is not amenable to these less aggressive options.
Annual Mammogram Screening
Annual mammogram screening, beginning at age 40, is still the best “ounce of prevention” in battling breast cancer. SJRA is the best place to get your mammogram. We are committed to providing the most advanced technology in the hands of the most experienced women’s imagers. We were first in the region to offer 3D mammography and first to receive the Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence (BICOE) designation from the American College of Radiology (ACR). We are still the region’s ONLY ACR Designated Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence. We are the only center to offer evening diagnostic mammography in our area. Excellence.
About William F. Muhr, Jr., M.D., D.A.B.R.
Dr. William F. Muhr is President and CEO of South Jersey Radiology Associates (SJRA) in the greater South New Jersey & Philadelphia area. SJRA offers a full spectrum of state-of-the-art imaging technologies. Dr. Muhr, an expert in Diagnostic Radiology/MRI Body, received his undergraduate degree from Lehigh University and his M.D. from Hahnemann University, completing both his internship and residency at Hahnemann University Hospital.