J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital
1225 Warm Springs Avenue
Huntingdon, PA 16652
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Ruth Modzelewski, Ph.D. 
Mission Coordinator
Pittsburgh Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation

Ruth Modzelewski, Ph.D. Mission Coordinator Pittsburgh Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation

Komen Official to Speak about Mammography Controversy

The Alliance for Breast Care at J.C. Blair is sponsoring a lunch and learn program entitled “Understanding the Controversy in Mammography” on Friday, May 21, 2010 at 12 noon at Juniata College’s Ellis Hall Baker Refectory. Ruth Modzelewski, Ph.D., Mission Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation will be the guest speaker. To make reservations, please call J.C. Blair’s Breast Health Coordinator Kayla Thompson at (814) 599-9760. A $5 donation is requested to help offset the cost of the luncheon.

Dr. Modzelewski will also be discussing this topic with local healthcare providers in a breakfast meeting that morning at J.C. Blair, and talking about science careers with area high school science students after the luncheon at Juniata College.

Maria Pettinger, M.D., Chief Radiologist at J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital says, “I am excited to have someone of this caliber coming to the Huntingdon Community to address this important issue.” Dr. Modzelewski received her Ph.D. in human genetics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1996. She has led and conducted research in the areas otolaryngology, hematology, and oncology at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2006, she was honored as a Hillman Fellow for her innovative cancer research. A two time breast cancer survivor, she volunteered for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for many years before becoming the Pittsburgh Affiliate’s Mission Coordinator in 2009.

The recent controversy in mammography stems from a report published by the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) in November 2009, which updated its mammography guidelines. The report recommends that women begin having their mammograms at the age of 50 and continue to be screened biannually. This is a change from their previous recommendations in 2002 that women should receive annual mammograms beginning at the age of 40. In addition, the USPSTF also discourages the teaching of breast self exams. Many organizations and healthcare providers disagree with these new recommendations, including the mammography staff at J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital.

The American Cancer Society’s chief medical officer, Otis W. Brawley, M.D., said in response to the report, “with its new recommendations, the USPSTF is essentially telling women that mammography at age 40 to 49 saves lives; just not enough of them.” The American Cancer Society continues to recommend annual screening mammography and clinical breast examination for all women beginning at the age of 40.

The American College of Radiology strongly disagrees with Task Force recommendations as well, feeling that priority is being placed on dollars saved over lives saved, and also recommends routine mammography for women beginning at age 40. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports these same recommendations. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation encourages women to talk with their healthcare provider to decide the best timing for mammography.

The Alliance for Breast Care at J.C. Blair is pleased to be able to present this program to help women understand this controversial issue and make the appropriate decisions for their personal breast health plan.

The Alliance for Breast Care at J.C. Blair was organized in March, 2009 when the Hospital was awarded a grant from the Pittsburgh Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The mission of the Alliance is to promote breast health throughout the County. The Alliance presents educational programs throughout the County, provides educational resources for healthcare providers, and coordinates free women’s health screenings for women without health insurance. Having received a second grant award in 2010 from the Komen Foundation, the Alliance has been able to continue its efforts to educate, screen and promote breast health throughout Huntingdon County. For more information or to get involved with the Alliance, please call J.C. Blair Breast Health Coordinator Kayla Thompson at (814) 599-9760.

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