Mercy Cancer Network
The Lacks Cancer Center at Saint Mary's Health Care is a member of the Mercy Cancer Network, one of Michigan's largest cancer care networks. The Mercy Cancer Network links local hospitals and cancer centers throughout Michigan to provide patients and families access to the most advanced medicine and latest in cancer diagnostics, clinical research trials and therapeutic technology.
The Mercy Cancer Network, through its expert physicians and support teams, gives patients an opportunity to receive the best care and treatment locally, while providing access to a broad array of technology and specialized treatment options throughout Michigan if needed.
The hospitals of the Mercy Cancer Network are accredited by the American College of Surgeons and have access to the latest clinical research trials through the National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) research bases through the Mayo Clinic and M.D. Anderson.
For more information on the Mercy Cancer Network, call 1-888-474-HOPE or visit www.mercycancernetwork.com.
Statement on New Mammography Guidelines
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced November 16 that the recommended age for mammogram screening for women at low risk should change from age 40 to age 50, and be decreased from every year to every other year. The task force also stated that breast self-exams are not beneficial in detecting cancer. The task force explains that the current standards of getting screened for breast cancer early often leads to too many false alarms and unneeded biopsies without substantially improving the odds of survival.
We recognize the scientific basis for the USPSTF recommendations, and that there is not general consensus regarding these guidelines. At the same time, there is convincing evidence that early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer and annual mammograms lead to better outcomes, especially with the use of digital mammography. While the current recommendations of yearly mammography for women 40 and older are not perfect, patients are encouraged to work with their physicians and use the knowledge and latest technology available to increase their chances of early detection.
In addition, many women find their own lumps before they show on mammogram, and should continue to perform breast self-exams, contact their physician if they find a lump, and be aware of timely methods of early detection.
The Mercy Cancer Network and Trinity Health, along with The American College of Radiology, the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the American Society of Breast Disease and the American Cancer Society, support the current standards of annual mammography for women age 40 and older for breast cancer detection.
Terry O'Rourke, MD, Chief Clinical Officer
Thomas Gribbin, MD, Saint Mary's Health Care, Grand Rapids
Randy Mudge, MD, Battle Creek Health System
Phil Stella, MD, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Mercy Cancer Network Steering Team Physicians
For more information, visit www.mercycancernetwork.org or www.trinity-health.org.