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Format: 04/17/2014
Format: 04/17/2014


Weirton Daily Times: Area doctors blast cancer recommendations

Friday, November 27th, 2009

By Paul Giannamore

Business Editor

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio - Local oncologists are fuming over the release of recommendations that would lead to fewer mammographies for women over the age of 40 if the medical profession were to adopt them. Oncologists at the Tony Teramana Cancer Center say mammograms must continue to be recommended for women over age 40.

The doctors at the cancer center at Trinity Medical Center West say they don't expect responsible physicians will take the recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to heart. The recommendations from the obscure government panel have come under fire this week for calling mammographies for women between age 40 and 50 as ineffective medicine that causes undue stress for false positive findings of cancer and recommend an end to the policy of advising annual mammograms for women over age 40 unless there are risk factors, though those are vague in the report.

Dr. Mark Trombetta, radiation oncologist and medical director of the center, and Dr. John Hyland, radiation oncologist, both noted Wednesday they were looking at cases of breast cancer in patients in their late 30s. Both physicians, who are based at the West Penn/Allegheny Health System in Pittsburgh, along with their colleagues at the Teramana Cancer Center, Drs. Pervaiz Rahman and Dennis Meisner, both oncologists from UPMC, termed the recommendations from the task force as "irresponsible."

"In 75 percent of the women, there are no risk factors," Trombetta said. "No competent and qualified oncologist will follow these guidelines."

Trombetta and Hyland said they suspected there's political motivation behind the finding, but said they expect the backlash will be such that the insurance industry won't be dictating changes in the current mammogram standards.

"The American Society of Breast Disease is unequovical, and most in the field are absolutely outraged by the recommendations," Trombetta said, noting there are no breast oncologists in the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

To read more, visit the Weirton Daily Times web site.

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