House Call with Len Lichtenfeld, the deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.
Len Lichtenfeld, MD, is deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. Send House Call questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CURE: There has been a lot of debate about the recent changes to the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for mammography screening for breast cancer. What are your thoughts on this issue?
Lichtenfeld: The attention to mammography as a result of the American Cancer Society’s newly updated breast cancer screening guidelines for women at average risk has left me reflecting on a longheld concern about how we approach breast cancer awareness, detection and treatment in this country. In particular, reducing the burden of breast cancer must be about more than just mammograms. As important as they are in saving lives, they are but one piece of a much larger puzzle.
There is so much more we could do to make the pieces come together. Think about what we could accomplish if we were to effectively and passionately approach breast cancer as a truly coordinated nationwide effort:
Those are just a handful of my thoughts on what we could do better when it comes to our understanding and approach to breast cancer. We also need to realize that breast cancer is about more than pink ribbons and mammograms. It’s about empowering women to be the drivers of the discussion and offering them the greatest chance for outcomes that are best for them.
So let’s make the discussion about breast cancer more inclusive — inclusive of the women we serve and the care we offer. Let’s make certain all the pieces of the puzzle are put into place. Only then will we be able to say we truly are doing everything we can to diminish the impact of breast cancer for everyone throughout our great nation