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Physician panel will discuss mammogram controversy
Are you confused or frustrated by a government task force’s recent recommendation to delay screening mammograms until age 50? Or perhaps you are simply seeking expert information on the controversial topic. A panel of four physicians will discuss the topic at an upcoming event hosted by Adventist Hinsdale and Adventist La Grange Memorial hospitals.

“Controversies in Breast Cancer: The Media vs. the Mammogram” will take place at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Community House, 415 W. Eighth Street, Hinsdale, and 6:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, Dixon Learning Center, 5101 South Willow Springs Road, La Grange.

Leading the presentation are Dr. Colleen Hagen, surgeon; Dr. Patricia Madej, oncologist and director of Adventist Midwest Breast Care Center; Dr. Mita Majmundar, director of breast imaging and intervention; and Dr. Elyse Schneiderman, oncologist.

The presenters expect a lively sharing of ideas since each of them will approach the topic from their own unique perspectives. Don’t expect a straight lecture, Hagen said, but more of a lively discussion.

“I’d like to get some people stirred up,” Hagen said. “To say, ‘We’re not going to screen women’ and ‘We’re going to tell them to ignore their breasts until they’re 50, no mammograms and no self-exams,’ is to go backward. Why miss the chance to diagnose something when it is very early and very treatable?”

Misconceptions about the guidelines abound; the panel of physicians seeks to provide clarification.

“Our goal is for people to understand and appreciate why we have guidelines and what their limitations are,” Madej said. “It is important for patients to talk to their doctors because this is something that clearly will have to be individualized to each patient.”

Majmundar’s aim is to help people understand what mammograms can and cannot do and what the pros and cons are for screening women in their 40s. Schneiderman intends to discuss what the task force intended to do.

In November, the government-sponsored U.S. Preventive Services Task Force found screenings before 50 weren’t worth the risk of anxiety over negative biopsies or unnecessary treatments for slow-growing tumors. However, Adventist Midwest Health physicians in multiple specialties who treat breast cancer patients at all affiliated hospitals continue to recommend annual screening mammograms for women starting at age 40, which is also the current recommendation of the American Cancer Society.

Adventist Hinsdale and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospitals have been accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). Only seven hospitals in Illinois have attained this achievement. Adventist Hinsdale Hospital is the only accredited hospital in DuPage County.

The program is free but space is limited. To register, call 630-856-7525 or visit www.keepingyouwell.com.