This past summer I read a book titled, Then Came Life, by Geralyn Lucas. It was an inspiring novel written by a woman diagnosed with breast cancer at age 27. This is Geralyn’s second book and in it she talks about her everyday life, living with breast cancer, in a humorous manner, often relating back to her treatments and diagnosis. While predominantly light-hearted and funny, the novel also takes a more serious note in the discussion of Geralyn’s first cousin being diagnosed with breast cancer and her eventual passing. As a radiologist, frequently diagnosing women with breast cancer and seeing many survivors, this book hit home to me. I thoroughly enjoyed every chapter and found myself both laughing and crying along with Geralyn. Every woman who has undergone treatment for breast cancer is a hero to me and a symbol of courage and strength.
Yesterday evening I had the opportunity to speak with Geralyn over the phone and to hear her enthusiasm and fun loving personality. She is very excited about speaking in our community next month. I invite everyone to join us at the Mandell JCC for the Jewish Book Festival event on Sunday, January 11th. It is going to be a truly wonderful experience for all who attend!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month...be sure to check out a special pull-out section on "Breast Cancer Awareness" in this coming Sunday's Hartford Courant. An article on Dense Breast Tissue will be included, featuring Nancy Cappello, PhD., Jan Kritzman, and myself.
Published in today's New York Times..."Dense Breasts May Obscure Mammogram Results". Our hometown hero Nancy Cappello is recognized!
Click here to view the article.
Hundreds participated in the annual Race for the Cure at Bushnell Park in Hartford this past Saturday. It is always an inspirational event to see men, women and children, of all ages, supporting such a worthy cause. This year, as in years past, Gabrielle and I ran for Team P & J and were proud to be a part of such an amazing group of people.
Congratulations to Patty & Jeanne for another successful year! Team P & J was once again a top fundraiser for the event, collecting over $15,000.
Well done ladies!!!
"We live here. We race here. We save lives here."
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
Hartford June 7, 2014
Join us for the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure at Bushnell Park, Saturday, June 7th! We will be there supporting Patty Fox as a member and sponsor of Team P&J. If you would like to be a part of this great event and Patty's team, click here to register .
This year, official team caps will be on sale at The Crown Market on Sunday, June 1st, beginning at 9:30 am. All proceeds go towards Patty's team and the fight against breast cancer.
Thank you for your support and we hope to see you there!
Julie & Gabrielle Gershon
A great article published in today's Op Ed section of the Wall Street Journal! Take a look...
Click here for article!
J Gershon Breast Imaging is now offering genetic consults and genetic testing in cooperation with Myriad Genetics Laboratories. If you, or a family member, have been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, or you are of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, you may be eligible for genetic testing. Knowledge of a mutation in the BRCA genes can be helpful in making informed decisions about care for oneself and your family members. To find out more about our new service, please feel free to call the office at 860-673-1955.
For those who have heard of 3D mammography, and those who have not yet, I would like to share some information I learned at the American College of Radiology’s National Conference on Breast Cancer. 3D mammography, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, is a relatively new technology, however it is currently not FDA approved as an alternative to standard 2D mammography. The 3D mammogram is obtained with an x-ray unit that moves in an “arc” around the breast taking multiple images which are then reconstructed by a computer into a 3D image. The goal of the technology is to allow the radiologist a clearer visualization the breast tissue at multiple levels with the hope of improving mammographic interpretations. The main advantage of breast tomosynthesis is that it reduces patient call-backs, with the hope of decreasing patient anxiety. Patients benefiting most from 3D imaging are those with dense breast tissue, as this is where the abnormalities hide.
However, more is not always better, and there are many reasons why I am not fully supportive of breast tomosynthesis. Firstly, every patient that undergoes a 3D mammogram also needs a 2D mammogram, so patient radiation dose is doubled. Secondly, calcifications are are not well seen on 3D images, as they become blurred in the imaging process. Thirdly, in dense breast patients, ultrasound is still commonly needed as an additional study to further evaluate a 3D finding. And finally, insurance is currently not paying for breast tomosynthesis.
While digital breast tomosynthesis may be of use in certain cases, I do not see an advantage for its use routinely at this time. With regards to decreasing patient anxiety, I feel the best way to remedy this issue is to speak to the patient and discuss the mammographic results at the time of exam. And for patients with increased breast density, we are fortunate to live in a state where breast density is acknowledged and where insurance will pay for a screening breast ultrasound. In dense breast patients, a full-field digital 2D mammogram and bilateral breast ultrasound is the best way to screen for breast cancer, and there is no added radiation!
When choosing a breast imaging center, it is important to be aware of the various types of mammography being offered and to make an educated decision about the type of care you wish to receive.
Julie S. Gershon, M.D.
Julie S. Gershon, M.D.