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Importance of early detection can’t be emphasized enough, attendees at Holy Name breast cancer forum say

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

SHOUT OUT: The importance of early detection as the very best weapon against breast cancer bears repeating, a group of participants in a health forum at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck agreed this afternoon.

Toward that end, the attendees agreed that it’s vital to:

• Urge health professionals to counsel women to get screened;
• Encourage women to talk with their doctors about starting mammograms at 40;
• Organize events directed toward women 50 and over about getting mammograms every two years.

Participants included 51-year-old breast cancer survivor Laura Ayala and her team of physicians: Erika Brinkmann, Holy Name’s chief of breast surgery; Benjamin Rosenbluth, its chief of radiation oncology; medical oncologist Raimonda Goldman, and Joshua Gross, the HNMC chief of breast imaging.

“Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women,” said state Senate President Steve Sweeney, who joined two local fellow Democrat lawmakers, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle.

Roughly one in eight women in the U.S. get breast cancer at some time in their lives, no matter their age, he noted.

“Heightened awareness can make a real difference because it can lead to more screenings, earlier detection and earlier treatment,” Sweeney said. “The chances for survival are greater than ever, but early intervention is key.”

Also participating were Holy Name Executive Director Kathleen Erbacher and Michael Maron, the hospital’s president and CEO.

Held in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the public forum also drew surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, the head of the Oncology Department, advocates for prevention and treatment programs — and, most importantly, survivors.

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