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AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY RESPONDS TO BREAST IMPLANT MORATORIUM

 AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY RESPONDS TO BREAST IMPLANT MORATORIUM
 TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- In the wake of the Food and Drug Administration's ban on the use of silicone breast implants, the American Cancer Society, Florida Division, is urging the medical community to take action toward minimizing the need for implants for breast cancer patients through improved early screening and breast conserving treatment.
 It is estimated that deaths from breast cancer would decline by nearly one-third if women followed the American Cancer Society's program of having a regular mammogram. Yet, more than 1.1 million women in Florida over 40 who should have a mammogram, have not had the critical test. That means that many women are dying needlessly from this disease.
 For the vast majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer, lumpectomy -- a less radical, breast-conserving treatment -- which removes the lump or cancerous tissue, without removal of the breast, followed by radiation treatment is preferable to mastectomy, according to the National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference. Lumpectomies remove only the lump or cancerous tissue without removing the breast and are followed by radiation treatment. The surgery allows a woman to keep her breast, diminishing the need for implants and providing important psychological advantages.
 "The old option 'your breast or your life'...just doesn't hold true," says Dr. Marvin Dewar, chairman of the American Cancer Society, Florida Division, Breast Cancer Task Force. "The data in favor of early screening and breast conserving treatment has been demonstrated. If a woman is a candidate for a lumpectomy, regardless of the stage of the disease, having a mastectomy -- much more drastic surgery -- will not increase her chances for survival.
 "The smaller the tumor, the earlier it is detected, the greater the likelihood that breast-conserving therapies will be effective, adds Dewar. "Then women have a choice of therapies, and we think they should have those choices presented in a clear and unbiased fashion."
 The bottom line: early detection and options.
 "There are three keys to early detection," says Dr. Lisa Nemec, a specialist in mammography and member of the American Cancer Society's Breast Cancer Task Force. "Breast self-examination, an annual exam by a physician and mammograms. Three separate means of early detection mean less cancers can fall through the cracks.
 "Women have treatment options as well," adds Dr. Nemec. "Women need to make sure they hear and understand all their options. They shouldn't be afraid to ask questions. They need to remember that second opinions are more than a luxury -- they're a necessity -- and we should trust our instincts. Always ask why!"
 Cancer is the leading cause of death among women ages 35 to 50, with breast cancer being the most common malignancy. The incidence of breast cancer is on the rise. In 1961, a woman had one in 20 chance of developing the disease during her lifetime. Today, that risk has risen to one in nine.
 The American Cancer Society recommends a baseline mammogram for women by age 40; a mammogram every one to two years for women age 40-49, then annually after that.
 -0- 1/7/92 R
 /CONTACT: Sheila Buchert of the American Cancer Society, Florida Division, 813-253-0541/ CO: American Cancer Society, Florida Division ST: Florida IN: HEA SU:


JJ-SS -- FL016X -- 7668 01/08/92 10:06 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 8, 1992
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